Working at height on erected scaffolding or a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP) carries obvious risks; and most construction workers will recognise these. However it’s important that that Occupational Health & Safety Training specifically for working at height should be a top priority for all companies who require their workers to erect, dismantle and work on scaffolding or mobile elevated work platforms (MEWPs).
Health and Safety Training
Construction companies, and others that utilise scaffolding and MEWPs, that regularly fall below the minimum legal standards and repeatedly ignore advice regarding H&S can expect to be prosecuted. That makes investing in Occupational Health & Safety Training specifically for working at height an easy decision, surely? Yet still, some business owners across the UK, in a bid to save money, choose not to protect their employees, leaving them at the mercy of the numerous potential hazards that working at height can involve.
Responsibilities for Employers are Two-Fold:
- Proper training in how to correctly and securely erect and dismantle elevations (and how to carry out safety inspections at intervals)
- Proper training for employees in how to work from a raised height
Incidents Across the UK
According to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), working at height is the biggest cause of death in the workplace, and so remains a priority area for them.
Read now about just some of the scaffolding collapse-caused incidents that have occurred in the UK over the past few years:
- On a windy morning in Leicester this January, a woman became trapped beneath scaffolding when a large tower constructed of poles, wooden planks and clasps collapsed on to a busy street. She sustained minor injuries.
- Also in January, an investigation between Thames Valley Police and the Health & Safety Executive was launched in Newbury (Berkshire) when a man was seriously injured due to a scaffolding collapse. The incident resulted in road closures and an emergency air ambulance being mobilised.
- Much more seriously, a man died and two others were injured when scaffolding suddenly gave way at a building site in south-west London in October 2012.
- At a renovation project in Bristol early on a December morning in 2013, a contractor mistakenly untied scaffolding (erected by another firm) causing it to collapse in high winds. Thankfully, no-one was hurt.
Key Questions …
Do your workers know the potential dangers of working at height? Do they have the skills and knowledge required to perform tasks safely, so that they – and, equally importantly, people working on lower levels or even passersby on the street below – are protected from seriously injury or even death?
The only way to confidently answer those questions – and to enjoy peace of mind as a result – is to:
- Only employ (or train up) people with sufficient experience, knowledge and skills to perform the required tasks once working at elevation, and
- Provide full Occupational Health & Safety Training specifically for personnel responsible for erecting (and intermittently inspecting) required scaffolding and/or MEWPs, and for safely dismantling it all upon project completion.
New Broom Training provide Health and Safety training courses for Companies or Individuals. Contact us on 01795 500816. We will be happy to talk through your requirements.