What Do Employees Need To Know About Work At Height?

What Do Employees Need To Know About Work At Height

The Safety, Health, and Welfare at Work Act 2005 places duties on employees to:

  • Comply with statutory provision such as the work at height Regulations;
  • Protect their own safety and health, as well as the safety and health of anyone who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work;
  • Ensure that they are not under the influence of any intoxicant to the extent that they could be a danger to themselves or others while at work;
  • Co-operate with their employer with regard to safety, health, and welfare at work;
  • not engage in any improper conduct that could endanger their safety or health or that of anyone else;
  • participate in safety and health training offered by their employer;

What are your duties as an employer?

You must do all that is reasonably practicable to prevent anyone falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.

The Regulations set out a simple hierarchy for managing work at a height:

  • avoid work at height where this is reasonably practicable;
  • use work equipment or other measures to prevent falls where you cannot avoid working at height; and
  • where you cannot eliminate the risk of a fall, use work equipment or other measures to minimize the distance and consequences of a fall.

The Regulations also require employers and the self-employed to ensure that:

  • all work at height is properly planned, organized, supervised and carried out;
  • the place where work at height is done is safe;
  • all work at height takes account of weather conditions;
  • those involved in work at height are instructed and trained;
  • equipment for work at height is appropriately inspected;
  • the risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled; and
  • injury from falling objects is prevented.
  • make proper use of all machinery, tools, substances etc. and of all
  • personal protective equipment provided for use at work; and
  • report any defects in the place of work, equipment etc. which might endanger safety and health.

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