Working at Height : What You Need to Know

For the safety of you and your team, it’s important to ensure you adhere to both the regulatory and common sense requirements for working at height.

At Tomlinson Longstaff, all of electricians are qualified to work at height, including scaffold and mobile elevating work platforms (MEWP). 

Tips for working at height

Make a plan

Your aim is to prevent a fall from occurring. If this is not possible, you should minimise the consequences and/or distance of a fall.

The amount of detail your plan should include depends on what type of task you are planning for. A relatively simple task will require less planning than a complex one. As part of your plan, you will need to carry out a risk assessment.

By law, when planning to work at height, you must consider things such as emergency and rescue procedures, weather conditions and how you will stop anything from falling and injuring someone below or the measures you will take to make sure no-one will be injured if anything does fall.

Choose your equipment

You will need to select the right type of equipment for the type of work you are doing. A step ladder, for example, could be suitable for some jobs but not for others.

Consider the height at which you will be working and the load you will need to support. This can help you to decide on the right equipment to use.

Scissor lift in action

Ensure that the person working at height is ‘competent’

You will need to ensure that anyone working at height (or indeed anyone planning a work at height project) has the necessary knowledge, skills and experience. If the task will take less than 30 minutes and is low risk, it may be the case that instructions on how to use the equipment are sufficient, together with on-the-job training.

For more complex tasks, classroom-based training may be required.

Health & Safety

In order to comply with regulations and to work at height safely, you will also need to ensure that you consider things such as how long the task will take, how often it will need to be carried out and the height of the task.

Ensuring that the people involved in the task are all trained to the necessary level and have the necessary skill set to complete the task and that the equipment is the right equipment for the task, is a key part of your working at height risk assessment.

You will also need to take into account the environment that your task will be performed in, such as any uneven floors or weather conditions. More information about working at height can be found on the HSE website.

Tomlinson Longstaff Ltd is an electrical contractor based in Country Durham, north east England. We offer a wide range of electrical services including design, testing, installation and maintenance.