Reducing the risk of serious falls in the workplace

Between 2022 and 2023 there were over 40 deaths caused by accidents from working at height, making it the primary cause of workplace fatalities.

There were also 45,200 non-fatal injuries resulting from falls, these statistics seem to suggest that the risks from working at height are not properly controlled.

What are the regulations?

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WHR) requires organisations to carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessment of the task as well as suitable planning – this may include a lifting plan and proper training and supervision of your staff.

Once you have established your initial assessment of the task you will need to follow a hierarchy of controls as stated in the WHR.

This means that you must avoid working from height, prevent falls if work at height cannot be avoided and minimise the distance and consequence of a possible fall.

How to implement best practice?

There are different ways that this can be done, and modern technology is making it easier in practice, such as the use of drones to carry out roof surveys.

If the task does require people to work from height, you will need to review which measures should be put in place to allow safe access and to prevent falls.

Here, there is a hierarchy within a hierarchy that states that you should look at collective measures over individual solutions. This means that priority should be given to engineering controls that keep everyone safe, such as edge protection around roofs and the use of mobile elevated work platforms.

Individual solutions include such measures as man safe lines, which prevent a person from being able to reach the edge of a roof.

Finally, when other controls have been exhausted, you should consider how to break a fall.  This may involve use of netting or soft-landing systems.

Aegis has experienced and knowledgeable staff who can advise companies on how to reduce the risk of serious falls. If you would like more information, get in touch with our team of experts today.