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Do you need help assessing work at height risks

SAEMA – Specialist Access Engineering & Maintenance Association – is pleased to share this blog from (Risk Assessment Solutions Ltd.)

Based in Stafford, West Midlands, Risk Assessment Solutions can help to identify potential problems and offer suitable solutions to care homes, companies of all sizes and construction sites across the England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

Understanding and acknowledging the risks of having employees working at height can help stop accidents in what is one of the UK’s biggest causes of major injuries.

We are experienced at helping employers understand and mitigate the health and safety risks preventing employees from being injured in a fall.

The Working at Height Regulations 2005 (with 2007 amendments) apply to everyone who works at height, and this is officially defined as working in a place where a person could fall and suffer personal injury unless precautions are put in place. It could be a fall from a ladder or scaffolding, or through a fragile roof.

Employers have a legal duty to provide protection for their employers and others in their care, and must ensure that appropriate planning has been put in place, any approved risk assessments are adhered to, correct and maintained equipment has been provided and any training required has been completed.

The law recommends that working at height should be minimised or avoided altogether if possible, though it is recognised that this is not always a practical solution. For your (and your staff’s) safety, it is good practice to observe some basic Dos and Don’ts when working at height, in accordance with the advice from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Before working at height you must follow these simple steps:

  • avoid work at height where it is reasonably practicable to do so
  • where work at height cannot be easily avoided, prevent falls using either an existing place of work that is already safe or the right type of equipment
  • minimise the distance and consequences of a fall, by using the right type of equipment where the risk cannot be eliminated

You should:

  • do as much work as possible from the ground
  • ensure workers can get safely to and from where they work at height
  • ensure equipment is suitable, stable and strong enough for the job, maintained and checked regularly
  • not overload or overreach when working at height
  • take precautions when working on or near fragile surfaces
  • provide protection from falling objects
  • consider emergency evacuation and rescue procedures

SAEMA is the national trade body for the permanent and temporary façade access equipment industry..

SAEMA’s aims include adherence to safe and best practice for the provision of access to buildings and other structures for the purposes of cleaning and maintenance; and co-operating with other organisations, specialist bodies and institutions involved in the provision and maintenance of façade access systems and equipment.

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