Falls From Height

According to stats released by the HSE, there were 35 fatalities during 2017/18 due to falls from height.

Working at height is still one of the biggest causes of fatalities and serious injuries, with falls from ladders and falls through fragile surfaces being among the most common.

We would like to think that employers are taking health and safety more seriously. We would also like to think that employee safety is at the top of every employers list. But, unfortunately, that is not the reality.

Our director, Justin was driving home from our office last week, listening to Radio 2, probably gloating to himself that he had beaten Jen (our Sales & Marketing guru) on their daily challenge of ‘Pop Master’, when he spotted something.

This is what he saw…


As a trained and qualified health & safety professional(and all round good guy), Justin could not just keep on driving. He turned his car around, pulled over and spoke to the men in the picture. He explained to them that they must consider not only their own safety, but their families too.

After all, it’s the families that are going to be left behind, grieving the loss of their loved ones. And, for what? Cutting corners and not protecting themselves properly?

The HSE have released some Do’s and Don’ts for working at height, they are:


  • As much work as possible from the ground
  • Ensure workers can get safely to and from where they work at height
  • Take precautions when working on or near fragile surfaces
  • Ensure equipment is suitable, stable & strong enough for the job
  • Provide protection from falling objects
  • Consider emergency evacuation & rescue procedures 


  • Overload ladders
  • Overreach on ladders or stepladders
  • Use ladders or stepladders for strenuous or heavy tasks
  • Rest a ladder against weak upper surfaces
  • Let anyone who is not competent (doesn’t have the knowledge, skills or experience to do the job) work at height

 The Legal Stuff..

It is vital to consider risks associated with work at height, and take the correct measures to manage them safely.

The purpose of The Work at Height Regulations 2005 is to prevent death and injury caused by a fall from height.

If you are an employer in control of any work at height activity, you must make sure work is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people. You must also first assess the risks.

Employees have general legal duties to take reasonable care of themselves and others who may be affected by their actions. Employees should co-operate with their employer to enable their health and safety duties and requirements to be complied with.

We have a little saying here at Safety Advisors;

‘Common sense isn’t common’

I think the men in the pictures above were seriously lacking common sense on that day. Don’t be like them – protect your employees and keep them safe!

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