How to protect against the risks of working at height
Ladders are acceptable only for access or work of short duration.
They should be:
- erected at correct angle (4 up to 1 out)
- secured (preferably at top) or footed
- positioned close to the work to avoid over-reaching
- sufficiently protected at the base of any ladder or access equipment to prevent pedestrians or vehicles bumping into them.
When using stepladders the following precautions should be taken:
- always spread them to their full extent and lock them off
- do not work on the top platform
- do not use the top tread, tool shelf or rear part of the steps as a foot support
- only one person should be on the ladder at any one time
- the ladder must be appropriate and of the correct grade for the intended use.
Mobile elevated platforms
- use the platform only on level, firm ground
- only use the equipment with outriggers and stabilizers
- work with a trained operator at ground level
- safety harnesses must be worn while on the platform
- keep the platform within safe working limits and radius, taking account of wind speeds.
Scaffold towers should:
- be erected by a competent person
- have a height to base dimension ratio not exceeding 3 to 1 indoors, or 2.5 to 1 outdoors
- have stabilizers deployed as necessary to meet the correct height to base ratio
- use outriggers or stabilizers if above 2.5 m high
- have all casters firmly locked before use
- have ladder access to the working platform
- never be moved while the tower is occupied
- be regularly inspected and maintained.
Safety lines, harnesses and nets
Fall restraint and arrest equipment such as nets, airbags and harnesses, etc. should only be considered as a last resort when no other means are reasonably practicable.
They should only be used and erected by trained operatives and tested and inspected regularly.
Source: The Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives