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The HSS Guide to Working Safely at Height

Are you working within the Working at Height Regulations?

FACT: In 2008/2009 over 4000 major injuries were caused by falls from working at height.

FACT: 25% of all work at height accidents resulted in personal injury payouts.

FACT: After investigationsin 2009, a truck and van company has been fined £20,000 after a mechanic fell from a makeshift platform attached to a forklift truck.

ACT: Our online Guide tells you about the different types of access equipment available through HSS to help you comply with the new legislation and ensure you work safely at height.

*Facts sourced from HSE

Working Safely at Height - Your Guide to the Law

Who does it apply to?
The 2005 Working at Height Regulations apply to everyone where there is risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury.

What does it mean to me?
Working at Height means working at ANY height, the old 2 metre threshold no longer applies. You must carry out a proper risk assessment to determine if Working at Height is necessary and if it is, HSS can advise on the most appropriate equipment to use. The regulations set out a simple hierarchy for managing and selecting equipment for work at height:

1. Avoid
Avoid working at height unless you have to. Always look for alternative ways to get the job done.

2. Prevent
If you have to work at height, do everything you can to prevent a fall. Consider all the risks in advance and carefully choose the right equipment for the job and the environment. Remember to:

3. Minimise
If you cannot eliminate the risk of a fall completely, use work equipment or other measures to minimise the consequences should one occur.

5 Major Requirements
The regulations are aimed at maintaining and improving standards for all work at height. Standards for work above two metres will not change, they are simply being extended to work at any height.
Duty holders must ensure that:

  1. All work at height is properly planned and organised
  2. Those involved in work at height are competent
  3. A full risk assessment is carried out and appropriate equipment is selected and used
  4. The risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled
  5. Equipment for work at height is properly inspected and maintained

5 Steps to Safety
Whatever height you are working at, be safer by following these steps:

  1. Decide on the best system to prevent a fall that is suitable for the work being carried out
  2. Always make sure equipment conforms to current regulations and standards
  3. Only ever use equipment that is properly and regularly checked and maintained
  4. When working at heights, never work alone
  5. Provide the right harness safety training that covers handling of equipment

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Tower Assembly Methods

Towers should be erected following a safe method of work, there are two approved methods recommended by PASMA (Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association), which have been developed in co-operation with the Health and Safety Executive.

HSS have assembly guides and supporting components to allow users to follow either of the two approved methods, these are 3T (Through the Trap) or Advanced Guardrail Method.

3T Method (Through the Trap)
The most common form of build method, this enables the individual erecting the tower to be fully protected from risk of fall by positioning themselves within the trap door of the platform whilst guardrails are added or removed. This method is designed to ensure the operator does not stand on an unguarded platform.

Advanced Guardrail
The Advanced Guardrail Method uses special guardrail units that are positioned ahead of the person erecting the tower within the build to ensure collective protection at all times, this ensures the operator is never exposed to the risk of fall from an unguarded platform.

For more information regarding tower assembly methods visit hss.com or contact HSS Health & Safety Helpdesk on 08705 28 28 28.

advanced guard rail

Advanced Guardrail Tower
The BoSS Cam-Lock Advanced Guardrail provides and alternative build method for Alloy towers and offers the following features and benefits:

  • Safety guardrail in place before ascending to the platform
  • Tower rigidity - Created by a positive Cam-Lock anchor
  • AGR frames available for 1.8m & 2.5m decking lengths

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LiftPod - Exclusive to HSS

Exclusive to HSS is an aerial work platform, the LiftPod. This is a portable aerial work platform that combines the portability of a ladder with the benefits of a work platform. It is ideal for tasks such as light maintenance or repair, cleaning or inspection work.

The benefits include:

Increased Productivity and Improved Safety
The LiftPod’s sturdy basket allows you to work safely with both hands, more comfortably and with less fatigue.

LiftPod’s tool tray holds your tools and materials as you work, eliminating the need to make multiple trips up and down. It also can be powered with a common 18V drill.

Each of the LiftPod’s three modules can be carried and assembled by one person. This, combined with a base on wheels, allows for easier transportation through doorways, in lifts and can even fit into small vans.

Click to find out more about the LiftPod

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Access Towers

For safe height access you need the stable and comfortable working platform provided by our range of ready to erect access towers. HSS has a range of alloy access towers, full width are the choice for the majority of decorating, maintenance and general building applications, whilst our range of narrow width towers are perfect for stairwells, alleys and narrow forecourts. We also have an extensive stock of non-conductive (GRP towers), ideal for use in areas of chemical and electrical risk.

Click for more Access Towers

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Low Level Access

Podium Steps and Adjustable Safety Platform Steps are ideal to be used as low level working stations. They are perfect for essential maintenance and repair work and are safer alternatives to ladders and steps.

Click for more Podium Step and Safe Platforms Steps

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The 2005 Work at Height Regulations state that ladders can still be used but advise that they should only be used as a means of getting to a workplace. If they have to be used as a workplace it should only be for light, short-term work. HSS recommend the use of a ladder safety foot to prevent slipping. HSS have a range of ladders and steps ideal for all your access needs.

Click for more Ladders

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Staging & Steps

HSS also have a wide range of staging and steps equipment.

Steel Trestles &
Scaffold Boards
GRP Platform Steps Guard Rail
Alloy Platform Steps Stock Picking Steps Decorators Trestles

Click for more Trestles, Staging and Steps

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HSS Training offer a wide range of Working at Height related courses to ensure you, and the people you work with, know how to follow safe systems of practise and use your access equipment safely.

Click for more Access Training Courses

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Working Safely at Height Guide

Our online guide Working Safely at Height will help you to understand the 2005 Working at Height Regulations in more depth.

This guide provides advice on how you can be compliant with the Working at Height Regulations and how falls from height can be avoided in the workplace.

Click here to download your guide today. You can also call 08705 28 28 28 or email safety@hss.com for further information and advice.

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