Focus Firmly on Fall from Height


This is always one of the most hazardous aspects of construction health and safety: the need to work at height, and consequent falls from height, are even more in the spotlight this year with the HSE’s highlighting of the building trade as one of its prime targets for attention; and now with its announcement of a series of initiatives on this particular danger.

HSL Stair Assessment Course launch

Because stairs are always a potential source of harm to their users, they are stressing this area as requiring attention.

A fall down stairs, particularly when descending, can often lead to injuries or occasionally deaths. The new Health & Safety Laboratory stair fall assessment training course helps delegates to –

  • understand stair design features that might lead to a risk of falls
  • carry out a stair fall assessment
  • identify simple remedies to reduce the likelihood of falls

2012 Ladder Exchange initiative

This scheme aims to build on the success of HSE’s earlier initiative in carrying out ladder exchanges to make workplaces safer. This of course is a big construction safety issue.

Now being run by the Ladder Association, the 2012 Ladder Exchange will happen from 1 September to 30 November.

This Association wants to enrol more companies into the scheme and to exchange their broken, bent and damaged ladders for new ones: motivated of course by improved health and safety but also by discounted ladder prices.

PASMA Tower Week

Mobile towers are innately safer than ladders and are recommended as best practice: they should be a staple of the safety design process run by CDM Co-ordinators.

As with all equipment, there are right ways and wrong ways to deploy them: and in order to promote their safe use and educate companies and workers in the latest available technology, the first-ever PASMA Tower Week is being held in Yorkshire on 11th-15th June.

This opens with an event at The Royal Armouries in Leeds on the11th. Thereafter, more events and activities are promised around the region.

Largest Ever Work at Height Safety Forum

This big activity has just taken place, at the 2012 Safety & Health Expo, on 15-17 May at Birmingham’s NEC.

The AIF (Access Industry Forum) hosted more than 50 presentations, discussions and debates at the event. The AIF Knowledge Base, Live Zone and Information Centre aimed to focus solely on safety and best practice concerned with working at height.

Action Required

Anyone involved in the management of contractors or in running a contracting business would be well advised to make extra efforts now to ensure that their processes, equipment, supervision and training are up to current standards, as well of course as making every effort to ensure that workers are not put at undue risk when working at height.

It is a lot to expect of over-stretched managers and supervisors – and to ensure that the whole area is subjected to proper risk assessment and follow-up action, contact a pro-active firm of health and safety consultants such as McCormack Benson Health & Safety. They will send a local, experienced safety consultant who knows the subject and all the latest legislation: but who never forgets that you are the client.