A Guide to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Working at Height

Before launching into the crux of this piece, which aims to shed light on the different types of PPE that can be used as a safety measure when working at height, it is important to make it clear that an overall protection approach should be given priority [Read more…]

Guide to Safe Working at Height

Assessing the risk

The first thing that should be considered before any job involving working at height commences is a risk assessment. The complexity of any risk assessment will be down to the risk of injury and the assessment itself must consider many different aspects including:

  • The height of a fall (although of course injury can result from very low falls as well)
  • Environmental conditions and weather forecasts (slippery conditions or strong winds)
  • Any material(s) that could be fallen on resulting in injury. Especially sharp edges and risk of impalement, but also any surfaces that are fragile and cannot support weight, which could result in further falls or injuries
  • Risk of falling materials or objects on those working below
  • Hazards of using MEWPs (Mobile Elevated Work Platforms) including crushing injuries
  • The strength and stability of the structure on which work is being carried out

These are just some of the more obvious areas which must be assessed as part of a full risk appraisal.

Managing working at height

Risk involved when working at height should be ameliorated by relevant training, instruction and supervision alongside safe working practice protocol. When working at height work should always be carefully planned, supervised and only carried out by people who are fully trained and aware of protocol.

Preventing injury

If in doubt, work at height should be avoided if there is a genuine risk of serious injury. Tools should be easy to access and where possible placed where there is a reduced need for too many trips up and down ladders. Guard rails and work platforms that are designed to protect all of the workers on site should be installed wherever possible.  Personal protective equipment such as fall arrest cable systems should be used wherever there is a real risk of falling as an extra safeguard. When this is not possible the risk of falling must be mitigated by reducing the distance and thus the consequences of a potential fall. Working edges on platforms should be marked with clear painted lines in order to make everyone aware of their surroundings.

MEWP tips

When using MEWPs it is vital that:

  • The platform is placed on firm, flat terrain
  • Safety harnesses are worn at all times while on the platform
  • There is always a trained operator at ground level
  • The equipment is always used with outriggers and stabilizers
  • The platform is always maintained within safe working limits and that environmental conditions such as wind speeds are properly respected

Take advantage of IPAF training courses

In addition to the MEWP for Managers course, there are a whole range of more hands on training courses for those who are tasked with working at height using MEWPs and other relevant machinery. Keeping up to date with the latest correct procedure and industry tips can make all the difference when it comes to safe practice.

Ladders can be dangerous too!

Ladders should only ever be considered for quick jobs and must be:

  • Set at the correct angle
  • Secured correctly
  • Set up near to the work to prohibit over-reaching
  • Protected to avoid pedestrians or vehicles from knocking them

Always inspect equipment

When using personal safety equipment it is imperative that regular checks are made that there has not been any deterioration of any parts or fabric that are vital to the full functionality of the equipment. Likewise, when using MEWPs, there must be someone who is fully trained in not only how to safely use them but also how to recognise when there is something wrong. IPAF offer an ‘MEWP for Managers’ course that is very useful to this end. This leads us on to…


Warehouse Safety Tips

So many different things must come together at once to ensure that any given warehouse provides a safe working environment for all employees involved in different operations on site. Some involve education and training, while others are more tangible changes and additions that can be made to the warehouse itself. [Read more…]

The Ultimate Guide to Asbestos Training

What is Asbestos?

The chances are that you know what asbestos is – or at least you know that it is a potentially dangerous substance – but let’s take a look at what it is made up of. ‘Asbestos’ actually refers to any of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals – not as you might imagine, a man-made substance. [Read more…]

Why Asbestos Training is so Important

You say the word ‘asbestos’ in conversation and it will evoke feelings of toxicity, danger but also worryingly of the past. Many assume that because they remember their parents discussing the dangers of asbestos containing materials [Read more…]

How to Ensure the Safety of Your Warehouse

Warehouses by their very nature can be particularly prone to being unsafe in a number of unique ways, both while in use and while closed to operation. There are many reasons as to why it is vital to ensure that warehouses remain safe ALL of the time. [Read more…]

The Benefits of Scissor Lift Training

Scissor lift training qualified participants to safely use scissor lifts and booms in any situation. Different businesses can use a number of different types of scissor lift within construction or to create a safe area at which to work from height. [Read more…]

Top Tips for Safe Working at Height

If you are required to work at height in your job then it’s essential to undertake an officially accredited course to prove to employers that you are competent to do the task set out. Additionally, if you are a manager responsible for [Read more…]

Do Small Businesses Need Help with Health and Safety

Careful small business owners take a lot of notice of their responsibilities under the directives from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) but it is important to give help and guidance on a down to earth level, to prevent them spending precious time and money [Read more…]

Safe Working at Heights

Safe working at heights is a matter of adequate planning and following of the risk assessment completed for the identified activity. Falls from heights have accounted for thousands of injuries at work every year with over forty of these falls proving fatal.

Work at Height Regulations [Read more…]

Why your Staff Need IPAF Training

When working at height in potentially hazardous buildings, health and safety should be the number one consideration for both employees and employers.

By law, employers must comply with the Working at Height Regulations 2005, ensuring that anyone they employ is competent and well trained.

In addition, training helps machinery operators to increase the safety and efficiency of the way they work which has a positive effect on productivity. [Read more…]

Why you Need Asbestos Training

It wasn’t until 1999 that the use of materials containing asbestos was banned, which means there’s still a lot of scope for different types of workers to come into contact with it, in particular construction workers.

As an employee, if your job requires possible disturbance of asbestos containing materials then you must have been adequately trained. Employers need to ensure that anyone in their employ has received training form a recognised body before coming into contact with asbestos. [Read more…]