What is Working at Height?
Falls from height are one of the most common types of accidents at work, and can often result in serious injuries. Falls from height are also the single largest cause of workplace fatalities in the UK.
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (as amended) are intended to protect people that have to work at height, and set down a strict set of guidelines that employers are required to comply with. These Regulations confirm that working at height can happen at any place, at or below ground level, including obtaining access to or egress from such a location in the workplace. The exception is a staircase in a permanent place of work, as these accidents are covered by a different set of rules.
Working ‘at height’ does not have to be hundreds of feet above the ground. It can apply to all types of accidents, from someone working on scaffolding to paint a house to somebody standing on a footstool stacking shelves. The Regulations also apply to falling objects. Our case studies provide typical examples of injuries or falls from a ladder that can occur.
Who is affected by Working at Height?
Anyone that works at height is at risk of injury. An accident can occur in almost any type of workplace. Some of the possible types of accidents are:
What can I do?
As an employee, you have a duty to look after your own health and safety whilst at work, as well as the health and safety of other people in the workplace that could be affected by your actions. It is important that you report any hazards you notice in the workplace to your employer as soon as possible. You should ensure that you follow all health and safety policies that your employer has put in place, as well as adhering to your training. Remember, whether you work for a company or are a self-employed contractor, everyone is required to receive training on the use of all equipment that they use. You should ensure that you use all safety equipment provided to you in accordance with this training.
Wherever possible, look for an alternative to working at height. Most injuries caused by falls from height are avoidable.
Use of ladders is one of the most common causes of falls from height in the workplace. Whilst it may be easy climbing up and down a ladder, however there are many risks associated with falling off a ladder or a ladder slipping. These tips may help prevent injuries from height:
A guide from the HSE is available for your use, which will give you in-depth information before embarking on projects where you need to work at height.
How can claiming for compensation help me?
If you have suffered personal injury as a result of a fall from height in the workplace, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. You may also be able to make a claim if you are a relative of someone who has died following a fall from height in work.
Suffering an injury at work can have serious consequences for you and your family, with many people having to survive on limited sick pay following an accident. Pursuing a claim will not only ensure that you are properly compensated for your injury, but will mean that you are reimbursed for any losses and expenses that you have incurred. This includes any lost earnings or future loss of earnings if your injury means that you have to take time off work or cannot return to work at all, as well as the cost of medical treatment and travelling to appointments.
Claiming compensation will also give you access to the best rehabilitation and treatment providers to maximise your recovery following the accident. The NHS provides excellent care at the acute stage following an injury, but long term rehabilitation can be lacking. Making a successful claim for compensation will mean funding is made available for a range of expert input where appropriate.
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