Fall Protection Planning – An Overview

Fall Protection Planning – An Overview

28th September 2016

In the year 2014 – 2015, according to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics, more than half of the fatal injuries in the workplace could be grouped into three different categories:

  • Falls from height
  • Being struck by a falling or moving object
  • Being struck by a vehicle.

This means that despite stringent health and safety legislation and enforcement here in the UK, falling from a height accounted for 41 out of 142 fatalities and almost half of these falls occurred on a construction site of some sort (20 out of 41).  Interestingly, only about 30% of these falls involved a self-employed person, the rest of the incidents were suffered by employees, which means that their employers may have been deemed culpable when it came to the investigation.

We really can’t stress enough that there’s no place for complacency when it comes to working at height.  We’ve already discussed the risks involved with falling objects and given advice on how to manage those risks.  Today we’re going to take a closer look at fall protection planning and the importance of developing a comprehensive fall protection and training plan in order to minimise the risks to employees when it comes to working at height.

If you employ people who are required to work at height, then you need to decide what sort of fall protection to use before either beginning a training regime or implementing a fall protection plan.  

The most effective type of fall protection is to totally eliminate the fall hazard which can sometimes be achieved by avoiding the work at height.  However, this is not possible in so many cases, so using work equipment and other measures to prevent a fall is an important part of the planning process when it comes to working at height.  If the risk of fall cannot be eliminated then you need to consider the type of work equipment or other measures that would minimise the distance and consequences of a fall should one occur.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be taking a look at the ways in which you, as an employer, can create a safer workplace, one in which your employees are protected as much as is possible for the risks that are involved in working at height in the construction industry.  We’ll be looking at the restraint systems and fall arrest systems that you can consider using, where relevant, the importance of accessing the correct training for working at height, compliance with legislation and industry standards and the elements that make up an effective fall protection plan.  Why not bookmark this blog and stay tuned so that you can access the valuable advice and information you need to ensure the safety of your workforce when it comes to carrying out work at height.