By Jason Godfrey, General Manager
In this Blog series I’ve been discussing training and the importance of making sure everyone working at height has the correct training. This follows recent fall from height prosecutions where the court was told that the victims had received no formal training and were not competent to work at height.
For the final part of the series I’m looking at an extremely important part of work at height – rescue.
All those involved with working at height, mangers, supervisors and operatives must have rescue training. For managers and supervisors this should be in the form of risk assessment (as outlined in the first Blog in this series) and how to put an effective plan in place.
Work at Height Rescue
When planning work at height you should always plan for the worst-case scenario. With this in mind you should therefore plan what to do in the event of a fall. The rescue plan must be regularly reviewed, changes made when necessary and all workers re-assessed on a frequent basis.
When setting out a rescue plan and training on procedures, areas to cover include the type of situation from which a person might need rescuing from, what fall arrest equipment is being used and what equipment is required for the rescue. Rescue procedures should be considered when first specifying equipment to ensure that components such as anchorage points are sufficient and accessible. Further information on Rescue can be found in our Importance of Rescue Planning Blog.
Operatives should be trained on the rescue plan as well as their specific rescue equipment. Rescue training must be part of both initial and ongoing training and practiced at regular intervals.
Work at height must be properly planned, supervised and carried out in a safe matter. In order to do this, everyone involved in the process needs to be fully trained. This includes identifying risks, correct use and inspection of equipment as well as rescue procedures.
Whatever the work, training and competency is essential. By improving people’s awareness of the risks involved and educating them on how to use equipment properly, companies can start to provide a safe working environment and limit the dangers associated with working a height. Hopefully then we won’t read comments about how lack of training contributed to an accident.