Food Safety and Hygiene

Working at Height Risk Assessment

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Ricky Kambray

Working at height risk assessment always acts as a safety management. It helps to identify and mitigate the potential risks and hazards related to working at heights. Falls from ladders, rooftops, and fragile surfaces are among the most frequent causes of serious injuries and fatalities in the construction industry. The analysis alerts you to evaluate risks, safety measures, or prevention from harm. 

According to the most recent HSE statistics, these accidents caused 35 of the 142 fatal injuries to UK workers in 2020/21 (25%) and resulted in 34 fatal injuries annually on average over the previous five years. They also accounted for 8% of employee-reported non-fatal injuries last year.

Read this blog to learn about working at height risk assessment, it’s five steps, and many more.

What is Working At Height Risk Assessment?

Working at height is an activitxy on, below, or above the ground that poses a risk of personal injury from falling or a chance that people working below the work site might be hurt by falling objects.

Actually, a full and comprehensive assessment can create a better workplace. The risk assessment examines the potential risk in your workplace. So you can ensure that any work at height is properly planned, supervised, and carried out in a safe manner. By law, you’re required to evaluate the risks in the workplace so that you can implement a strategy to control them.

Working at Height Risk Assessment

Five Steps of Creating a Working at Height Risk Assessment

To avoid any serious or fatal injuries while working at heights, it’s crucial to implement a risk assessment. Consider the following five steps when creating a risk assessment for working at height.

Identifying the Hazards

The first step of risk assessment is identifying different kinds of hazards in  the workplace. When finding potential threats in the workplace, keep the below points in mind:

  • Initially, inspect the workplace.
  • Review the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Check out the accident log.
  • Collect feedback or opinion from employees.
  • It is better to consider long-term health risks, including: 
    • Exposure to loud noises
    • Poisonous substances
    • Fire risks
    • Slip and trip hazards
    • Cleaning chemicals
    • Lone-working
    • Manual handling

Apart from these, according to the Work at Height Regulations 2005  you can attach the following factors:

  • The working conditions of the workplace. 
  • Possible danger area, duration, and frequency where any work equipment will be used. 
  • The distance and result of any potential fall.
  • Effective emergency rescue and evacuation that is quick and easy.
  • Any further risk because of the use, installation, or removal of work equipment or by the evacuation and rescue process.
  • How does the work equipment enables risk-free passage?

Deciding Who May be Harmed and How

The purpose of the second step is to determine which group of people might be harmed and how. It chooses the most effective risk-control strategy. Ensure that you consider everyone present in the workspace.

There are two ways to divide this step:

  • People who are at risk
    • Particular groups of employees
    • Customers
    • Member of the public
    • Visitors/ Guest
  • Employees at risk:

    • Employees
    • Maintenance worker
    • Young workers 
    • Expectant mothers
    • People with disabilities
    • part-timers 
    • Contractor or Subcontractors
    • Person who is actively engaged in the risky work area.

son who is actively engaged in the risky work are

Evaluating the Risks and Deciding on Precautions

It’s normal to worry about the risks associated with working at heights.  In the third step, you evaluate the hazards and decide the precautions. If not, how can you minimise the risks so that harm is unlikely? For instance, you can take some of the following precautions.

  • Providing the appropriate personal protection equipment.
  • Preventing access to the hazards.
  • Ensuring that all employees receive proper training about risks and safety measures .
  • Trying a less risky option
  • Organising work to reduce or control exposure to risk.
  • Providing welfare facilities like first aid and washing facilities.
  • Issuing personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Arranging proper training and instruction (before work is carried out).​

Recording Your Findings and Implementing Them

It’s important to keep the record of findings properly and ensure that it’s easy to read. A trustworthy risk assessment must include the following information:

  1. It has been properly checked.
  2. Observe the work underway.
  3. You’ve identified potential danger and victims.
  4. The precautions are sensible and the remaining risk is low.
  5. All of your employees have been involved in this process. 

Use a new risk assessment sheet for each workplace to avoid any misunderstandings.

Be sure to include:

  •  A date
  •  The person’s name 
  • Any time frames for finishing tasks.
  • Suggestions

Working at Height Risk Assessment

Reviewing Your Assessment and Updating if Necessary

The workplace is frequently getting new equipment, manpower, and methods, which could bring in new dangers. Every 6 to 12 months, you need to review your risk assessments to adjust for these changes. It’s essential to look over the below facts:

  • Any significant changes at your workplace?
  • Do you need to make any improvements?
  • Have your workers noticed a problem?
  • Has there been any employee feedback?
  • Have you learned anything from recent accidents?

It’s essential to update your risk assessment regularly from top to bottom for both existing and emerging risks. It guarantees that you consistently maintain adequate health and safety precautions and defend the site’s workers.

Working at Height Risk Assessment

Why Working at Height Risk Assessment Important?

Everyone who works in the construction industry is aware of the circumstances of working height risk assessment. This assessment includes some studies, of which many of these accidents are easily preventable with a bit of due diligence and proactiveness when it comes to risk assessment and management. That is why it’s so important to plan ahead to prevent and minimise accidents.

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 Please look at the information below and consider why it is required-

  • Employers are required to complete this and submit the assessment to the government as it is a regulatory tool.
  • To make sure that work is carried out safely with the appropriate equipment, training, and supervision.
  • Enable you to create awareness of risks and hazards.
  • Identify who might be in danger at work.
  • Find out whether a control program is required for a particular hazard.
  • Modify if existing control measures are adequate or if more should be done.
  • Prevent injuries or illnesses, especially when done at the design or planning stage.
  • Give risks and safety precautions top priority.
  • Fulfil any applicable legal requirements.
  • Developing an emergency plan for when something goes wrong (including evacuation and rescue).

By doing this, you are able to efficiently plan your work, including offering the best tools, training, supervision, and care for the people you work with. 

Conclusion

Working at height presents one of the biggest risks in the workplace. Only the risk assessment has control over this and significantly lowers the risk of harming other people. Currently, employers or company owners take  working at height risk assessment seriously. Each accident has a significant effect on their daily lives, both personally and professionally. So you have to always be careful and be noble with this. So, as a safeguard, don’t forget the value of working height risk assessment.


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Ricky Kambray