Work at Height Risk Assessment
Duty holders are required by law to ensure that all work at height is properly planned and organised. To do this you must carry out a full risk assessment for each of the individual procedures. Risk Assessments must be site specific and not generic.
The concept behind a risk assessment is to identify an activity, highlight the relevant hazards and significant identifiable risks and then put control measures in place to prevent an accident from occurring. Employers obviously need to carry out a Risk Assessment in relation to all operations.
Under the Work at Height Regulations a Risk Assessment should first look at the hierarchy of control measures:
- Can the risk be eliminated - In other words does the work at height really need to be carried out?
- If the work can not be eliminated then can the risk of a fall be removed such as through the provision of guardrails?
- If a fall can not be eliminated then the distance and consequence of a fall must be minimised, such as through the provision of fall arrest equipment.
When carrying out a Risk Assessment you must also bear in mind that more injuries occur as a result of work at height below 2m and so assess all risks irrespective of height.
Work at Height Audit Overview: Why competency is essential.