In doing so, it may be easier to keep up to date with the latest legislation and regulations which make a big difference in improving safety practices at height. If we take a look over the last 10 years, regulations such as the Work at Height Regulations 2005, and revision of the EN360 standard for example, have made a considerable improvements in ensuring workers have the correct level of training and protection.

It is important to consider the level of training you are undertaking as you may find not all training will be up scratch. Training is designed to change perceptions and improve standards – something which is especially important when working at height where the risks can be very high. There are training providers out there that will ensure thorough training is delivered to all participants, leaving people feeling engaged with the knowledge and understanding to do their jobs even better.

Planning and preparation is key The very first step to avoiding a slip, trip or fall at height is to consider the risks in the initial planning phases of a project or job. The stages at the beginning are what counts - having the time planned to carry out any assessments or checks is crucial in avoiding any potential hazards.

A simple way to lessen risk and can be identified before work has even begun, is to understand whether lone working will be required. Where possible lone working should be avoided – not just to reduce the danger of a fall but if the lone worker should start to feel unwell, or fall on their own, the dangers and risks can be heightened dramatically and in the worst of cases, lead to a fatality.

“Training is designed to change perceptions and improve standards.”

To decide whether enough is being done to prevent harm, a risk assessment is required by law. This doesn’t mean masses of paperwork, it is more to do with taking simple measures to reduce and control risks. Having a rescue plan in place is also essential when there is potential for an operative of a height safety system to be working in Fall Arrest, thus placing them in an environment in which a fall from height could occur. The rescue plan is the pre-emptive thought process to quickly manage the worst case scenario, should it happen.

Why outsourcing is set to grow As legislation becomes more stringent, building owners and managers are increasingly exploring the option of outsourcing their working at height requirements. Not only does this take pressure off them but also ensures they are fully supported with all of their working at height needs.

HCL Safety, specialist sub-contractor in fall protection and part of MSA Safety, is equipped with the expert knowledge needed to assess the risks surrounding working at height, as well as implement the correct fall protection solutions to the highest standard. TOMORROW’S FM | 39

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