Elevated Falls Are Fatal: How to Protect Employees While Working From Height

6 December 2019

It’s no surprise that working from height comes with elevated risks. However, recent HSE data revealed that UK employers across industry lines are failing to implement the necessary safety measures to protect their employees during such operations. In fact, falls from height accounted for nearly 30 per cent of total worker fatalities in Great Britain this past year—contributing to 40 employee deaths and an additional 40,000 non-fatal injuries. 

Apart from workplace injuries and fatalities, experiencing a fall from height disaster on-site can result in a variety of additional costly consequences. Indeed, your organisation could also suffer from reduced productivity levels, poor employee morale, hefty health and safety fines, legal ramifications under the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and reputational downfall. 

Don’t let your workplace become another devastating statistic. Use this guidance to keep employees safe during work from height operations: 

  • Work from the ground—Before requiring employees to conduct any work from height, always evaluate the task at hand and determine if it can be performed from the ground. This could entail using extendable tools rather than climbing a ladder, installing cables from the ground or lowering heightened fixtures to the ground during maintenance.
  • Minimise the risks—If working from the ground is not possible, it’s crucial to implement proper safety measures that reduce the risk of falling from height. This includes evaluating the heightened work surface to ensure stability, installing guard rails, requiring employee safety training and providing adequate equipment (eg mobile elevating work platforms, scaffolds or fall restraint systems). 
  • Limit the impact—In addition to minimising work from height risks, it’s also important to limit the consequences that could result in the event of a fall. You can do so by implementing a soft-landing system (eg safety nets and air bags) or a fall-arrest system with a high anchor point.

For ultimate insurance protection against the risk of a fall from height incident, contact Verlingue today to discuss employers’ liability cover.


Contains public sector information published by the HSE and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

© 2019 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved. This publication is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as compliance or legal advice. In relation to any particular problem which they may have, readers are advised to seek specific advice. Further, the law may have changed since first publication and the reader is cautioned accordingly.

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