There's often some confusion surrounding most areas of health and safety in the workplace, but it's probably more vital to understand working at height than any other subject - especially if you have to shin up ladders every day! We've collected some commonplace myths surrounding the glamorous world of Working at Height!
HSE have banned the use of ladders on building sites.
Totally untrue. Ladders and stepladders can be a sensible and practical option. They can be used for work at height when the use of other equipment is not justified because of the low risk and short duration (specifically for no more than 30 minutes at a time) or where existing workplace or site features cannot be altered.
You need to be formally ‘qualified’ before using a ladder at work.
You don’t. You need to be competent, which means having the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to use a ladder properly for the work you will carry out. Or if you’re being trained you work under the supervision of a competent person. Training often takes place on the job and does not always have to take place in a classroom. What matters is that an individual can apply what they have learned in the workplace.
I am working at height if I’m walking up and down a staircase at work.
Nope, the regulation doesn’t apply to fixed permanent staircases.
You need to have two feet and one hand on a stepladder at all times.
This isn’t true. When you need to have both hands free for a brief period to carry out a task you need to maintain three points of contact at the working position. This includes your other parts of your body, knees or chest for example.
HSE has banned the use of ladders to access scaffolds and you will be fined if you ignore this ban.
Again this isn’t true. Ladders can be used for access as long as they are of the right type, in good condition and effectively secured to the scaffold to prevent movement. They should also be at least one metre above the landing platform to allow for a secure handhold when stepping off.
Our Working at Height Training is broken down into 3 easy sections to make sure it is clear what responsibilities you have, the risks associated with working at height and the importance of choosing the right equipment.