Working at Height: Protecting your Company and Employees

April 8, 2014

Working at height is a necessity in many injuries but this type of work comes with many risks. It is amongst the most risky and dangerous type of work and accounts for a large number of accidents in the workplace every year.

The latest report from the Health and Safety Executive showed 13% of all major injuries in the workplace were due to falls from a height. We do not know how many of these accidents could have been prevented by the employer or correct risk assessments but there is no doubt that many businesses are falling below recommended standards.

As recently as 4th April the HSE reported a property development company in Gwent were in court due to putting the lives of workers at risk through unsafe roof work.

Avoiding falls from height and Accident Claims

The official line is that all employers should make every single move possible to ensure working at height is completely avoided unless strictly necessary. In some instances working from height cannot be avoided but where this is the case, preventative measures should be offers such as the right equipment or working at a different location where working at height isn’t necessary. The distance and consequences of a fall must also be minimised in all ways possible, once again by using the right time of equipment.

Where these points are adhered to and recorded by the employer, where possible, the workplace accidents claims process should be avoidable as any unfortunate accidents or injuries that do occur have been guarded against, in every way, by the employer.

Personal protective equipment, well-kept ladders, scissor lifts and other work equipment is essential, as is full risk assessments and training of employees using the equipment and working at height. We have talked before about the dangers of inadequate training and ensuring you provide full training will ensure this element of your health and safety due diligence.

The Work at Height Regulations 2005

The official legislation protecting employees working at height is the Work at Height Regulations 2005. The purpose of the regulations is to prevent death and injury caused by a fall from height in any circumstances.

Any employer who requires their employees to work at height, at any time, needs to take note of the regulations. To comply with the regulations employers must ensure:

  • Work is properly planned, supervised and carried out by trained, competent people
  • The right equipment in the right condition is fully available
  • Risks are fully assessed

From an employee’s perspective the regulations state that employees must take reasonable care of themselves and others who may be affected by any work or actions carried out. They also need to show they have co-operated fully with their employer to ensure they are complying with health in safety. This could involve attending training sessions and informing the employer of any damage or problems with equipment.

Accident at Work Compensation

With 148 people killed through accidents at work in 2012/13 it is clear that this isn’t an issue that can be ignored. Thousands of people every year suffer accidents and injuries in the workplace that could have been prevented but weren’t due to employer negligence. At Lamb & Co. we have worked with hundreds of individuals who deserved maximum compensation for their injury and we are proud to have fought for it on their behalves.

The losses after an accident at work can be substantial, including loss of earning and enduring pain from an injury. At Lamb & Co. we fight to ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your situation.