Among the most dangerous occupations is working at height and it is rightly regulated by the UKs Health and Safety Executive placing duties on managers and those engaging others to work at height to ensure their safety.
The consequences of failing to ensure safe equipment and working methods at height can be serious both for the individual who has been injured and for the company for whom they were working as the following HSE examples demonstrate.
A warehouse operative suffered severe head injuries and died after falling 11 metres through a roof light onto a concrete floor while inspecting the roof for any repairs needed. While examining roof lights on the warehouse roof he tripped and fell onto the roof light, which broke under his weight. The company as employers were fined pound;35 000.
While a maintenance fitter was using a ladder to carry out routine work on a ventilation duct the ladder, which was not secured but had suction pads attached to the feet, slipped down the wall and ended up flat on the ground. The man broke both wrists and one had to be pinned. A subsequent accident investigation found that the smooth floor, necessary for hygiene standards in the production area, had compromised the performance of the grippers.
During the process of refurbishing a warehouse a contractor placed a ladder between two stands of a pallet racking so that the bottom of the ladder was resting against one rack – so that it would not slip – and the top was leaning on the other. The wooden ladder broke under his weight and he fractured his skull.
A cleaning company found itself with a fine of pound;15 000 after one of its employees fell just under 7 metres and suffered a fractured skull, bruising and a dislocated finger while cleaning gutters on a fragile roof when his foot slipped and he fell through a plastic roof light.
There are times when working at a height cannot be avoided and when a href=http://www.pro-ductclean.com/high-level-cleaning.asphigh level cleaning/a is needed, particularly in buildings where scrupulous hygiene needs to be maintained as part of a production process, such as in a food processing factory or a pharmaceutical manufacturer.
It is not only in manufacturing where a a href=http://www.pro-ductclean.com/high-level-cleaning.asphigh level clean/a may be needed. It would also apply to catering establishments, schools, and hospitals.
This may mean that the company has to carry out a regular high level clean at certain times of the year but it can be counter-productive to use its own employees when taking into account the costs of doing a risk assessment, training them in safety at heights, in the processes of handling any chemicals and equipment involved in cleaning and in then hiring the right safety gear and machinery to carry out the job properly.
Why take the risk? A professional cleaning company will have the cleaning materials, equipment and staff. It may have specially-trained workers who know how to use to industry best practices utilising specialist equipment such as scissor lifts and self-propelled booms or even trained specialist rope access teams.
It will also carry out the risk assessment and will schedule the work to fit around the clients needs.