Hierarchy of control measures when working at height
Can you work from the ground?
Following on from our importance of planning blog last week, today we’re looking at the hierarchy of control measures – a key part of the planning process. It is based on the idea that avoidance is better than prevention and mitigation when working at height, so it ranks risk mitigation measures from safest and most reliable to the least effective.
When planning, you only move on to the next stage if you cannot satisfy the previous one. So, if you can work without working from height, you stay on the ground.
The hierarchy of control measures
- Avoid working at height if possible. Carry out as much work as possible from the ground, only working from height when needed.
- Provide instruction or training. If you do need to work at height, make sure all workers are competent, trained and properly instructed, thus able to work at height safely using the equipment required.
- Use an existing safe place of work. If you have to work at height, do so from a safe place where fall prevention is already in place, such as a balcony.
- Provide work equipment to prevent falls. If no safe place exists, provide work equipment to minimise the risk of falls, such as mobile elevating work platforms or scaffold towers – see our range for hire here. It’s essential to prioritise collective measures over personal ones, so, for example, put guard rails in place first, then move to individual protective measures such as safety harnesses.
- Mitigate the distance and consequences of a fall. If preventing falls isn’t possible, provide equipment to minimise possible injuries. Again, it’s important to prioritise collective measures over personal ones, so use nets and airbags before moving to fall arrest systems.
When it comes to working at height, we cover all angles. We can offer advice on how best to complete your job; we can provide advice as well as high-quality IPAF and PASMA training, access platform hire and safety equipment.
Contact our experts in either Newcastle – 0191 236 7120 – or Huntingdon – 01480 891 581 today.