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Why do you Need Working at Height Training?

Updated: May 5

Builder installing a roof

Working at heights training is essential for the safety and legal compliance of those involved in elevated work tasks. It aims to prevent accidents and injuries by educating workers on risk assessment, the correct use of safety equipment, and emergency procedures.


In this Article:


Who Needs Working at Height Training?

Working at height involves tasks where there's a risk of falling from an elevated position, potentially causing injury. This includes jobs on scaffolds, ladders, or near edges. The goal of safety measures and training for working at height is to prevent falls by teaching workers to recognize dangers, correctly use safety equipment, and follow safe practices.

Working at height remains one of the leading causes of occupational injuries and fatalities worldwide. To mitigate these risks, rigorous "working at height training" is not just recommended; it's often mandated by law. This comprehensive guide delves into the importance of such training, the key components it should cover, and how it can significantly reduce accidents and enhance safety protocols in your workplace.


What are the Legal Requirements and Regulations for Working at Height?

In the UK, the primary regulations governing working at height are outlined in the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (as amended). These regulations apply to all work at height where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury. They are designed to ensure that such work is properly planned, supervised, and carried out by competent persons. Here are the key points of the regulations:

  • Training and Competence Those involved in work at height must be trained and competent. This includes not just the workers themselves but also those who plan, supervise, and manage such work.

  • Risk Assessment Employers must ensure that all work at height is properly planned and assessed for risks before it is started. This includes considering the work being done, the equipment used, and the conditions at the site.

  • Avoiding Work at Height Where possible, work should be done from the ground or a solid structure. Working at height should be avoided if it is reasonably practicable to do the work safely by other means.

  • Using Appropriate Equipment When work at height cannot be avoided, appropriate and safe equipment should be selected and used. This decision should be based on the risk assessment and consider factors like the height of the task, duration, and frequency.

  • Inspection and Maintenance Equipment used for working at height must be inspected and maintained regularly to ensure it is safe to use. This includes checks before use, detailed inspections at suitable intervals, and after any event that might have affected the equipment’s safety.

  • Protection from Falling Objects Measures must be taken to prevent objects from falling and causing injury. This includes securing tools and materials.

  • Emergency Planning There must be plans in place for emergency rescue and evacuation in case of an accident during work at height.

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 emphasize a hierarchical approach to safety, starting with avoiding work at height if possible, using work equipment or other measures to prevent falls where working at height cannot be avoided, and where the risk of a fall cannot be eliminated, using work equipment or other measures to minimize the distance and consequences of a fall, should one occur.


Why has the Government Implemented the Regulations on Working at Height?

The UK government introduced the Work at Height Regulations 2005 to minimize the risks associated with working at height, which is one of the leading causes of workplace fatalities and serious injuries. These regulations aim to ensure that all work at height is properly planned, supervised, and carried out by competent individuals to prevent accidents. By establishing clear guidelines for risk assessment, the use of appropriate equipment, and the training of personnel, the government seeks to protect workers' safety and reduce the incidence of fall-related injuries.

This legislative framework reflects the government's commitment to improving workplace safety standards and reducing the social and economic costs associated with work-related accidents.

a graph showing the main kinds of fatal accident for workers in 2022/2023

The chart presents data on the main types of fatal accidents for workers in the year 2022/23. It shows that falls from a height are the most common cause of fatal injuries to workers, accounting for 40 deaths. This is followed by being struck by a moving object, with 29 deaths, and being struck by a moving vehicle, with 20 deaths. Additionally, 12 workers were fatally injured from being trapped by something collapsing or overturning, and 9 workers died from contact with moving machinery.

These categories represent the most significant causes of workplace fatalities, collectively accounting for over two-thirds of all worker deaths in that period.


a graph showing the number of fatal injuries to workers by industry in 2022/2023

The chart illustrates fatal injuries to workers by main industry for the year 2022/23.

It highlights that the construction industry has the highest number of fatal injuries, with a total of 45.

This is followed by the agriculture, forestry, and fishing sectors, which together account for 21 fatalities.

Both manufacturing and wholesale, retail, motor repair, accommodation, and food services report 15 fatal injuries each.

Transport and storage also report 15 fatalities.

Fewer fatalities are seen in administrative and support services, and waste and recycling, each with 6 deaths.

Additionally, there are 12 fatal injuries categorized under 'Other' industries.

The construction and agriculture, forestry, and fishing sectors are noted as the industries with the greatest number of workers killed in fatal accidents each year.


The Importance of Working at Height Training for Employers

Training for working at height holds paramount importance for a multitude of compelling reasons, all of which contribute to a safer, more efficient, and legally compliant workplace:

Preventing Accidents and Injuries: Foremost among the reasons for working at height training is the significant reduction in the risk of falls from height. Falls remain one of the most common causes of serious work-related injuries and fatalities. Proper training equips workers with the knowledge and skills to safely navigate the complexities of working at elevated levels, thereby mitigating the potential for accidents and ensuring a safer work environment.

Legal Compliance: Across many jurisdictions, there exist stringent regulations and standards governing work at height. These regulations mandate that workers must receive appropriate training and demonstrate competence in the safety practices and procedures of working at height. Compliance with these legal requirements is not optional; it's a necessity for businesses to operate legally, avoid penalties, and ensure that all work is conducted within the bounds of regulatory standards.

Enhancing Productivity: The confidence and safety assured by comprehensive working at height training have a direct impact on productivity. Workers who are confident in their safety measures are less likely to experience accidents or near-misses, which in turn reduces downtime and promotes a more efficient work process. Moreover, when employees feel safe and are knowledgeable about the tasks at hand, they are more likely to perform their duties with greater efficiency and effectiveness. This not only enhances operational productivity but also contributes to a positive workplace culture where safety is prioritized.


Why Should you Choose Ward Education for your Working at Height Training?

Choosing Ward Education for your working at height training offers a multitude of benefits, pivotal among them being their esteemed accreditations by CPD, IIRSM, and Gatehouse Awards. These accreditations are not just badges of honour; they represent a commitment to the highest standards of quality and reliability in training. Here’s why these accreditations make Ward Education the ideal choice for your training needs:

  • Recognized Quality and Excellence Accreditation by CPD (Continuing Professional Development), IIRSM (International Institute of Risk and Safety Management), and Gatehouse Awards signifies that Ward Education's training programs meet rigorous educational and professional standards. This ensures that learners receive training that is not only up-to-date but also globally recognized for its quality.

  • Assurance of Comprehensive Curriculum Such accreditations guarantee that the training content is thorough and covers all essential aspects of working at height safety practices, risk assessment, and emergency procedures. It means the curriculum has been vetted by authoritative bodies, ensuring it provides comprehensive knowledge and skills to prevent accidents and comply with legal requirements.

  • Enhanced Credibility for Employees Completing a training program accredited by respected organizations enhances the credibility of employees and the organizations they represent. It demonstrates a proactive commitment to safety and compliance, which can be invaluable in industry sectors where trust and reliability are paramount.

  • Continuous Professional Development With CPD accreditation, Ward Education's training courses contribute to your ongoing professional development. This is crucial in industries where staying updated with the latest safety practices and regulations is essential for career advancement and maintaining professional licenses.

  • Global Recognition and Mobility Accreditations by internationally recognized bodies mean that the training and qualifications received through Ward Education are acknowledged worldwide. This global recognition is beneficial for professionals seeking opportunities beyond their current geographic location, offering greater mobility in their career paths.

link to a working at height awareness course


Elevating Safety Standards

The decision to invest in "working at height training" is a testament to a company's commitment to the safety, health, and well-being of its workforce. By delving into the risks associated with working at elevated heights, and equipping employees with the knowledge and skills to manage these risks effectively, organizations can forge a work environment that is not only safer but also conducive to higher productivity and morale.

Compliance with legal standards and regulations governing working at height is not just about adhering to the law; it's about going above and beyond to ensure that every employee returns home safely at the end of the day.

In conclusion, the call to elevate safety standards through working at height training is a call to action for all stakeholders within an organization. It is a commitment to continuous improvement, vigilance, and a proactive approach to workplace safety. By prioritizing comprehensive training for your team, you not only safeguard their well-being but also contribute to building a safer, more resilient, and successful organization. Elevate your safety standards today by making working at height training a cornerstone of your safety and health initiatives.




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