Common Causes Of Accidents When Working At Height

Most Common Causes Of Accidents When Working At Height

Working at height can be dangerous if you are not careful. There are a number of common causes of accidents when working at height, and if you are aware of these, you can take steps to avoid them. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common causes of accidents when working at height.

One of the most common causes of accidents when working at height is falling objects. If you are working near other people, make sure that they are aware of what you are doing and that they are not going to drop anything on you. Also, be careful when handling tools or equipment. If you drop something, it could fall on someone below you and cause serious injury.

Another common cause of accidents when working at height is slipping or tripping. If you are working on a slippery surface, make sure that you wear appropriate footwear. Also, be careful of loose cables or other trip hazards. If you are carrying equipment up a ladder, make sure that it is secure and will not slip or fall.

Common Causes Of Accidents When Working At Height

Working at height can be dangerous if you’re not careful. Here are some common causes of accidents when working at height so you can take steps to avoid them:

  • Falling objects: If you’re working near other people, make sure they’re aware of what you’re doing and that they won’t drop anything on you. Also, be careful when handling tools or equipment. If you drop something, it could fall on someone below you and cause serious injury.
  • Slipping or tripping: If you’re working on a slippery surface, wear appropriate footwear. Also, be careful of loose cables or other trip hazards. If you’re carrying equipment up a ladder, make sure it’s secure and won’t slip or fall.
  • Power tools: Be aware of the risks associated with power tools and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Be especially careful when using power saws as they can easily cause serious injuries if used improperly.
  • Falling from height: This is one of the most common causes of accidents when working at height. If you’re ever in doubt about anything, always err on the side of caution and seek professional help.

By being aware of these common causes of accidents when working at height, you can take steps to avoid them. If you have any concerns, always seek professional help.

Roof work is high risk and falls from roofs, through fragile roofs and fragile roof lights are one of the most common causes of workplace death and serious injury. As well as in construction, these accidents can also occur on roofs of factories, warehouses, and farm buildings when roof repair work or cleaning is being carried out.

The following are likely to be fragile:

  • roof lights;
  • liner panels on built-up sheeted roofs;
  • non-reinforced fiber cement sheets;
  • corroded metal sheets;
  • glass (including wired glass);
  • rotted chipboard;
  • slates and tiles.

Fragile roof accidents are preventable and information on safe working practices can be found in the HSE information sheet Fragile roofs: Safe working practices (see ‘Further reading’).

What do you need to consider when planning work at height?

The following are all requirements in the law that you need to consider when planning and undertaking work at height. You must:

  • take account of weather conditions that could compromise worker safety;
  • check that the place (eg a roof) where work at height is to be undertaken is safe. Each place where people will work at height needs to be checked every time, before use;
  • stop materials or objects from falling or, if it is not reasonably practicable to prevent objects from falling, take suitable and sufficient measures to make sure no one can be injured, eg use exclusion zones to keep people away or mesh on the scaffold to stop materials such as bricks falling off;
  • store materials and objects safely so they won’t cause injury if they are disturbed or collapse;
  • plan for emergencies and rescue, eg agree on a set procedure for evacuation. Think about foreseeable situations and make sure employees know the emergency procedures. Don’t just rely entirely on the emergency services for rescue in your plan.
10 Safety Tips for Working at Heights

How do you select the right equipment to use for a job?

When selecting equipment for work at height, employers must:

provide the most suitable equipment appropriate for the work (use Figure 1 to help you decide);

  • take account of factors such as the working conditions (eg weather);
  • the nature, frequency, and duration of the work;
  • the risks to the safety of everyone where the work equipment will be used.

If you are still unsure which type of equipment to use, once you have considered the risks, the Work at height Access equipment Information Toolkit (or WAIT) is a free online resource that offers possible solutions. It provides details of common types of equipment used for work at height. HSE has also produced a guide on the safe use of ladders and stepladders (see ‘Further reading’).

How do you make sure the equipment itself is in good condition?

Work equipment, for example, scaffolding, needs to be assembled or installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and in keeping with industry guidelines.

Where the safety of the work equipment depends on how it has been installed or assembled, an employer should ensure it is not used until it has been inspected in that position by a competent person.

A competent person is someone who has the necessary skills, experience, and knowledge to manage health and safety. Guidance on appointing a competent person can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/competence.

Any equipment exposed to conditions that may cause it to deteriorate, and result in a dangerous situation, should be inspected at suitable intervals appropriate to the environment and use. Do an inspection every time something happens that may affect the safety or stability of the equipment, eg adverse weather, or accidental damage.

You are required to keep a record of any inspection for types of work equipment including guard rails, toe-boards, barriers, or similar collective means of protection; working platforms (any platform used as a place of work or as a means of getting to and from work, eg a gangway) that are fixed (eg a scaffold around a building) or mobile (eg a mobile elevated working platform (MEWP) or scaffold tower); or a ladder.

Any working platform used for construction work and from which a person could fall more than 2 meters must be inspected:

  • after assembly in any position;
  • after any event liable to have affected its stability;
  • at intervals not exceeding seven days.

Where it is a mobile platform, a new inspection and report are not required every time it is moved to a new location on the same site.

You must also ensure that before you use any equipment, such as a MEWP, which has come from another business or rental company, it is accompanied by an indication (clear to everyone involved) when the last thorough examination has been carried out.

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