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Guide to Height Safety

One of the single biggest causes of major injury and death at work is a fall from height.

The Work at Height Regulations (2005) apply to all working at height tasks where there is a risk of a fall.

It is the duty of all employers and site managers to ensure the correct provisions are in place before any such works are undertaken. Employees should also attend a height safety training course before carrying out any such activities.

In addition to standard protective equipment, personal fall protection must include:

  • Anchor device: Joins the connecting device to a tie off point such as scaffolding. If anchor points are not directly above the worker, two anchorage points must be provided either side to prevent the pendulum effect during a fall
  • Full body harness: A body harness must be selected based on the task/environment at hand. Employee must be able to work freely without restriction, and harness must protection in the instance of a fall
  • Connecting device: This connects the harness and anchor, such as a shock absorbing lanyard

How to calculate fall clearance 

Before purchasing fall protection, you must calculate the fall clearance to ensure a clear area to prevent workers coming into contact with objects during the fall and the resulting swing effect.

The minimum vertical clearance between the anchor point of lanyard and the lower level, is calculated as follows:

Length of Lanyard + Fully Activated Energy Absorber + Body Height + 1m Safety = Minimum Clearance

View the HSE Toolbox at www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox for a full guide to health and safety in the workplace.

Need further advice? Call 0330 700 0090 sales@bacasafety.co.uk for a consultation.