Work at height involves considerable risks and alternatives must be sought wherever possible. Sometimes, work at height is unavoidable: when this is the case employees need thorough height safety training. Training is vital to ensure everyone on your team understands the risks and receives instruction on using equipment safely.
Proper height safety training is a legal requirement of both the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Working at Height Regulations 2005. It’s clear that lack of sufficient height safety training can be a cause or contributor to accidents in height safety cases. In contrast, training staff guards against incidents occurring or landing your business with a hefty fine.
In this blog, we take a look at why height safety training is so important.
1) Hazard awareness
Firstly, team members must understand the dangers of working at height. Appropriate training equips your team with the necessary skills to identify hazards and eliminate or reduce the risks. In addition to highlighting the personal risks, training also reminds employees of the dangers to those working beneath them.
2) Equipment competence
Working at height often involves numerous pieces of equipment, including PFPE (Personal Fall Protection Equipment). Training teaches your team how to select, use and inspect equipment correctly. Furthermore, training ensures workers can fit their equipment properly so it’s comfortable to use. Comfortable equipment is a must if you want your team to comply with PFPE requirements.
In addition to giving people the right skills for the job, training also gives workers the confidence to carry out tasks safely. Investing in the best training for your team shows workers you care about their wellbeing and safety. Lack of confidence can make people uneasy and increase the risk of accidents.
4) Safety focus
Update your training regularly to stay ahead of the game. Even if training has been completed in the past, top-up training or refresher courses are essential. Top-up training keeps employees’ skills and hazard awareness front of mind and keeps them up-to-date with new equipment, hazards or procedures.
Who should do height safety training?
Anyone with exposure to the hazards of working at height must undertake height safety training. Make sure you also train managers and supervisors who plan and advise on work at height projects. Understanding the legal requirements, risks and benefits of proper practice enables teams to work more efficiently and safely.
Remember, working at height doesn’t just include scenarios where workers are many metres above the ground. Working at height includes any situation where there is a risk of personal injury through falling or a risk to those below the working platform.
What type of height safety training do you need?
An introductory course is a great starting point and covers the basics of height safety. Depending on the job at hand, additional or more specialised training may be necessary. This could include: specific PFPE training, mobile scaffold tower training, or industrial rope access.