Protecting the health and safety of those working at heights

Any businesses whose staff are required to work at heights have enhanced duties of care with regards to the health and safety of employees in potentially dangerous situations. Most employers operating in such sectors are largely aware that their businesses are the most highly contributory to workplace injuries, and even fatalities. All should be aware of the Work at Height Regulations 2005, yet some are still prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive for either intentional or unintentional flouting of legislation.

A prosecution in March 2010 highlighted the cardinal importance of due diligence with regards to health and safety procedures in this field. Prior to the actual prosecution, a firm of roofers was advised several times by the Health and Safety Executive about necessary prerequisites. However, two of the firms staff were observed shortly afterwards working on a sloping roof without barriers or scaffolding around the roof edge. Such barriers or scaffolding are legally obligatory, and intended as prevention against serious injuries in cases of falls.

Coupled with the fact that the firm had recently come under the Health and Safety Executives radar, but had failed to uphold its requirements, the firm was consequently fined £2000 plus £2069 legal costs. This particular example reflects an audacious disregard for health and safety. However, employment law regularly and rapidly evolves. Many companies requiring their staff to work at heights as part of their daily business do struggle to keep abreast with legal expectations.

At NorthgateArinso Employer Services, it is our job to ensure we are at the very cutting edge of employment law on behalf of our clients. Our Work at Height expertise is second to none. We partner a huge variety of businesses through the theory and the practice, helping them to ensure the health and safety of their team members first and foremost, and also of their businesses.

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