The purpose of The Work at Height Regulations 2005 is to prevent death and injury caused by a fall from height.
Unlike the title suggests, there is no minimum height requirement for working at 'height'. They include all work activities where there is a need to control a risk of falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.
Employers and those in control of any work at height activity must make sure work is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people. This includes using the right type of equipment for working at height.
All operations requiring work at height require a risk assessment and proper management of the risks. Employers and those in control must first assess the risks.
Many falls from height occur when workers slip (eg off step rungs). Here are some injury statistics published by HSE for falls from height in the food and drink industries:
1. they are the third highest cause of fatal injury, comprising 20% of fatal accidents
2. result in around 80 major injuries (broken limbs, fractured skulls etc.) each year
3. result in a further 230 over-3-day absence injuries each year
4. can result in serious or even fatal injury even when the fall is less than 2m.
In the case of serious injury the HSE will usually investigate and prosecute where there is clear breach of the regulations.
When pursuing a personal injury claim, any investigations carried out by the HSE can be very useful.
Should you require assistance in bringing a claim for an accident at work please contact our specialist team at Moore Blatch
Leyland SDM (LSDM) Limited has been fined after four workers fell more than three and a half metres whilst carrying a ventilation unit. LSDM had been in the process of redeveloping a warehouse in Wembley. However, when four workers tried to move a ventilation unit into position, the working platform became overloaded and gave way. Neither the work at height nor the lifting operations were planned properly. Two of the four injured men suffered leg fractures, while a broken collar bone were among the other injuries caused by the incident. A Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation found the company failed to manage the risks when working at height and carrying out the lifting operation. The company also failed to have the right level of trained personnel and supervision in place to carry out these tasks safely and effectively.