Star FM Group Safety Training!

Who is responsible for Working at Height?

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 were introduced in a bid to prevent death and injury caused by falls from height, therefore minimising risks to workers. Employers, facilities managers, building owners and anyone else that controls work at height, including the self-employed can be held responsible should an accident occur.  They would be liable if an accident occurred and the equipment was found to be faulty or uncertified.

These individuals and organisations have a legal responsibility to ensure that the Work at Height Regulations 2005 are implemented and that all activity is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent persons. They are also responsible for ensuring that fall protection systems for Work at Height are inspected regularly, at a maximum 12 monthly intervals, but more frequently when working in hazardous environments.

People

The employer (or organisation that controls Work at Height, such as a facilities management company) is required to take responsibility for certain duties of care under the Work at Height Regulations 2005.  The regulations state that the employer must ensure that workers have available to them the appropriate Work at Height equipment, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  Workers should also receive appropriate training in the use of that equipment and whilst they are in training with the equipment, they should be properly supervised.

Equipment

Regulation 12 of The Work at Height Regulations deals specifically with the inspection of fall protection equipment.  Here, the responsibility lies with the employer to have Work at Height equipment properly tested and inspected on a regular basis.

For example, in the case of a handrail and guardrail (under PUWER 1998) this would require at least 12 monthly inspections, or more frequently if the environment is hazardous.

Place

The Work at Height Regulations also state that surfaces, parapets or permanent rails, where work is to be carried out, should be checked on every occasion before that equipment is used.  Again, it would be the responsibility of the employer (the Duty Holder) to ensure this is carried out effectively.

The legislation points to certain ‘danger areas’ such as fragile surfaces, where it advises that special consideration is given.  In case of fragile surfaces, the employer (or contractor responsible for the work) must ensure that a suitable and sufficient platform or covering is supplied.  They must also take all precautions to ensure that the distances from these surfaces to the ground are restricted to minimise the consequences of a fall.

Another responsibility of the employer or duty holder is to ensure that workers are alerted to fragile surfaces with prominent warning notices as they approach the hazard.  In addition, the guidance recommends that equipment is made available, such as guardrail, to prevent an individual entering a dangerous Work at Height area.

Working At Height At Star FM Group

We have trained all our Engineers under the ESS Manual Handling and Working at Height courses to ensure their safety when working with ladders or any form of height where a fall could cause any kind of injury