Work at height safety
Wednesday 10th June

Health and Safety at height in the Covid-19 era

Covid-19 is putting a huge strain on businesses but how is it impacting health and safety?

It’s a difficult and anxious time for any business at the moment, balancing uncertainty and managing the risk of Covid-19. Everything is out of order, employees are suffering from stress and distracted, many are grieving, and there are a whole host of new safety procedures for everyone to get their head around. We’re adjusting to a new normal, but how is Covid-19 impacting health and safety in the already high-risk work at height industry?

A risk to health and safety?

With workplaces picking up the pace post lockdown, there is a real risk that normal and vital health and safety measures take a back seat. It’s easy to get complacent, make mistakes or forget a step when your focus is elsewhere, and that is when accidents happen.

The No Falls Foundation is sharing the message ‘Be Safe, Don’t Fall, Stay Alive’ and it couldn’t be more pertinent in reminding everyone to remember their training. It is more important than ever that we adhere to all standard procedures as well as the newly introduced Covid-19 ones.

What can I do to help?

If you’re an employer, you’ll understandably be keen to increase productivity and make up for lost time. But, it’s important not to lose sight of what’s essential – safety. Here are a few ideas to help you get back on track safely.

  • Brief employees before their shift to remind them to follow essential health and safety procedures while working. Sometimes a little reminder is all it takes.
  • Check-in with your employees periodically to ensure they have all the PPE and equipment they need to work. Also, make sure that they understand and are happy with all the existing and new health and safety procedures.
  • Avoid piling on the pressure. While you’ll be keen to tick off jobs, try not to overload your workers but rather be realistic and stress safety rather than speed.
  • Keep the lines of communication open and encourage all your employees to come to you with problems or ideas. Listen to what they have to say and take action if you need to. That could be providing flexibility for personal issues or extra PPE to make them feel safer at work.
  • Make sure all employee training is up to date and that certifications haven’t lapsed unnoticed during the lockdown. If any of your employees do require a refresh, get them booked into a course – you can view our upcoming IPAF and PASMA courses on our website.