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Construction company fined £30,000 after work at height failings

Construction company fined £30,000 after work at height failings

14 May 2019

A construction company based in Lincolnshire has been sentenced after an employee was seriously injured after a fall through a fragile roof.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident revealed that the system of work in use to control risks from work at height was fundamentally unsuitable. Click here to read the full article.

Working at height is dangerous, and in many cases unavoidable

A common misconception of work at height is that of a worker hundreds of feet in the air, held on by a safety harness, but the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR), tells us that anyone who works at a level off the ground is working at height. This is why being properly trained and equipped to understand how to work at height safely is vitally important. 

All UK employers need to comply with the Work at Height Regulations 2005

Falls from height are one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major injuries, with the most common causes falls from ladders and through fragile roofs. The purpose of the WAHR is to prevent death and injury from a fall from height.

Employers and those in control of any work at height activity must make sure work is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people. This includes using the right type of equipment for working at height. 

Legal duties of employees

Employees have general legal duties to take reasonable care of themselves and others who may be affected by their actions, and to co-operate with their employer to enable their health and safety duties and requirements to be complied with. For an employee, or those working under someone else’s control, the law says they must:

  • report any safety hazard they identify to their employer
  • use the equipment and safety devices supplied or given to them properly, in accordance with any training and instructions (unless they think that would be unsafe, in which case they should seek further instructions before continuing)

Training competent employees

In the case of low-risk, short duration tasks involving ladders, competence requirements may be no more than making sure employees receive instruction on how to use the equipment safely and appropriate training. When a more technical level of competence is required, proof of relevant training and certification is one of many ways that can demonstrate competence.

If workers are not trained to the correct level and if this training is not regularly refreshed, then there is an increased risk of accidents that could be potentially life threatening. With this in mind, Develop Training Ltd (DTL) offer a wide variety of working at height training courses to help both employees and employers maintain competency.

Anyone who works at height is eligible to attend DTL's training courses. Importantly though, managers, supervisors and anyone responsible for a team of employees whom require an understanding of working at height should also undertake training. By understanding the risks, legality and benefits of proper practice around working at height, teams will work more efficiently and safely.

Click here to view all DTL's working at height training courses.

Bespoke working at height training courses

Many of DTL's training courses can be tailored to the requirements of your organisation and/or industry if required. DTL may also be able to provide training at a location of your choice (dependent on requirements).

Contact DTL's friendly Customer Service team today on 0800 876 6708 to enquire about bespoke courses today.

Download DTL's pocket guide to working at height

© Develop 2019