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Working at Heights: Key Guidance

Although the technology for optimising health and safety is improving all of the time, conversely, workplace accidents are on the increase, which could be a direct result of the recession, and the burden of increased hours and workloads that this has put on employees.

This suggests that rather than being able to compromise on safety as technology becomes more apt, in fact we need to be better on our guard in the workplace. Working at height in particular is fraught with hazards, and therefore any safety strategy needs to have roof safety and height safety at its core.

“Working at heights” is actually a fairly broad church and includes everything from ladder safety to roof safety; of course this means that your safety protocol needs to be matched to the job in hand, which will present particular challenges.

For example, millions of employees in the UK frequently spend their time up ladders, and therefore ladder safety should be something that is ubiquitous in the UK. In fact the importance of ladder safety has recently been highlighted, as the Working at Height guidelines have been strengthened.

Less common, however just as potentially hazardous (if not even more so) is the use of harnesses in the workplace. With harnesses in mind, there should be a rigorous strategy in place to ensure that all of the safeguards associated with working with harnesses are in place, such as the correct material of the harness, and the correct use of laynards, and so on.

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