Falls from height is one of the leading causes of workplace deaths in the UK. According to the HSE Statistic Report 2020, 111 workers died in the country in 2019/20 as a result of severe injuries they sustained due to an accident in the workplace. 29 of those 111 fatalities resulted from a fall from height. The situation concerning falls from a height continues to be a cause for concern.
Sadly, it takes one mistake to turn a routine task on-site into a fatality. Although the responsibility to ensure workers' safety generally rests with the employer, the latter must be aware of the safety hazards at their job site and adequately trained to deal with them. One of the ways to do so is using fall protection when working at a height. You could have the best mobile access equipment and still be unsafe if you do not invest in proper fall protection.
Depending on the type of your work at elevated heights, different types of fall protection equipment can be used, such as –
Guardrails Edge Protection: Ideal for roof maintenance & inspections where workers frequently perform tasks along the roof edges.
Collective Fall Protection: Designed for use on walkways, skylights, ladders, gantries, and fragile rooftops for safe working.
Roof Safety System: Includes ladder safety systems (either rail-based or wire-based) to ensure workers' safety during general maintenance of roofs.
Fall Protection Anchor Points: High-level window cleaning or general maintenance jobs are ideal. Workers on these sites can easily make a secure anchor by clipping their safety harness to the sockets.
Reasons why fall protection is necessary when working at a height –
When working at elevated heights, falls are the most obvious safety hazard. Accidents caused due to falls result in serious injuries and sometimes even death. This is a major reason for having a proper fall protection system.
In a bid to prevent injuries and deaths caused by falls from height, The Work at Height Regulations introduced in 2005 brought about many positive changes in how workplace safety was handled. According to the regulations, employers, facilities managers, or anyone who controls work at height will be held responsible if an accident occurs at their job site. They would be liable if an accident happened and the access equipment they usually hire for various operations was found to be malfunctioning.
When workers feel safe, they are motivated to perform their jobs more efficiently. Fall protection measures ensure they remain focused on the intended task while working at a height, without the fear of falling. This enables them not only to complete a given task much better but also to do it faster than they would typically do it.
While fall protection equipment may involve some upfront costs, it can save you money in the long run. As it helps prevent falls and other related injuries that workers may sustain while working at a height, it drastically reduces medical expenses and also saves employers from potential legal liabilities.
Accidents caused by falls from height can result in significant downtime on the job site. As fall protection minimises the risk of falls and related injuries, there are no disruptions to the regular workflow at the job site.
To ensure the safety of workers, it is as important to hire the right access platforms as it is to choose the right fall protection equipment. Choose the country's most reliable powered access hire specialist – AFI Rentals. And don't forget to check out our additional hire services, including hire options, hire accessories and our Service Level Pledges. Call us at 01924 601 566 to learn more!