Work At Height Course – What’s It All About?

Work At Height Course – What’s It All About?

16th January 2014

Working in the construction industry in the UK is probably safer that working in the construction industry in many other countries in the world.  Here in Britain we have a long record of social responsibility and improving working conditions to attempt to alleviate some of the risks involved.  This has led to the requirement that employers have a responsibility to ensure that their employees receive the appropriate training to be able to use the tools and equipment that they need in a safe manner that avoids the risk of injury.   Many of those in the construction industry will need to undergo Work at Height training courses in order to do their jobs.

There are many bodies in the UK that offer Work at Height training courses that are accredited by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects), CDP (Continuing Professional Development) and IOSH (the Institution of Occupational Health and Safety).  Some of the courses on offer will be relevant to those who actually do the work at height, while others are tailored to cater to employers and managers (duty holders) who have the duty of protecting those who work at height.  These courses are available in centres across the UK making them easily accessible to all.

The content of these courses vary, according to the types of work or activities carried out by the trainees.  There are specialised courses available including:

•    Safety Harness User Training which is aimed at those who work at height using safety harnesses and fall protection equipment.
•    Fall Arrest Equipment Training is targeted at those who work at height in any environment where there is a need for fall arrest equipment.
•    Safety Harness Inspection Training is appropriate for people whose jobs entail the conduction of formally recorded inspections on safety harnesses and fall protection equipment.
•    Management of Work at Height Training is aimed at supervisors or managers who are involved in the planning and risk assessment of work at height tasks.
•    Rooftop Safety Training is relevant to those whose jobs involve working at height on rooftops and/or near open edges.
•    Advanced Industrial Climber is suitable for those who work on structures like pylons, weather masts and telecom poles.

Working at height is not just necessary in the construction industry – there are plenty of other jobs that involve working at heights.  Tree surgeons (or arboriculturalists) often need to work at height in difficult conditions.  Climbing trees (hopefully using a safety harness) and then using a chainsaw at height can be a risky business and the correct training really can mean the difference between life and death.  Chimney sweeps commonly work at height as they clean the chimneys of open fires and heating systems in our homes.  In the entertainment industry, theatres and concert halls employ rigging workers who often need to carry out work at height.  Even professional painting and decorating services will require people to work at height.

If you’re required to work at height (whether on an intermittent or a regular basis), make sure that your employer has provided you with all the necessary training you need in order to ensure your safety at work at all times.