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Working at height - including ladders

In his first blog post this month, Health and Safety Consultant, Ross Glover, shows how training courses at Emprocom aim to empower people with the understanding of how to work in a much safer manner at all times…

18 July 2022

In his first blog post this month, Health and Safety Consultant, Ross Glover, shows how training courses at Emprocom aim to empower people with the understanding of how to work in a much safer manner at all times…

We provide all attendees with helpful information, to help them to be compliant with legislation as set out in the Health and Safety at Work Act, in order to care for the health, safety, and welfare of all their employees and visitors on site too.


Every employer should ensure that work at height is properly planned, appropriately supervised; and carried out in a manner which is so far as is reasonably practicable, safe, and that its planning includes the selection of work equipment.

Key tips to keep safe while working at height

Try and avoid working at height wherever possible and work from the ground instead if you can.

Some people may not be aware that working at height is classed as working above, or below, ground. There is no minimum height rule

Hazards of working at height include:

a) Fall from height
b) Objects falling onto workers’ heads
c) Dehydration – not taking sufficient breaks or drinking fluids
d) Sun burn and an increased chance of skin cancer
e) Use of safe equipment

Ladder checks:

a) Pre-use safety checks by users
b) Routine safety checks completed by a competent person and documented

Ladder correct use

Safe use of ladders

a) 1 in 4 rule – 1 unit out for every 4 units up
b) Ladder angle 75°
c) Maximum safe ground slope = 16°
d) Only use for short periods of time 15 to 30 minutes maximum
e) Ensure safety footwear has mid-arch supports
f) Clean boots before climbing when working in a muddy area
g) Use three points of contact when climbing up and down a ladder
h) When climbing on top of a building or structure leave enough rungs to still hold onto when climbing on or off the structure


Scaffolding and Tower Scaffolds

• Only trained and authorised persons are to erect scaffolding
SCAF Tags are to be fitted and checked by a competent person
• Never remove or loosen structure
• Gates to be fitted at tops of scaffolding
• At end of working day, scaffolds and other means of access to height must be blocked off with a ladder guard

Rescue Plan

• All sites must have a rescue plan in place and persons are to be aware of this plan
• Where possible train to ensure rescue plan can work
• Safety equipment and staff available when required and not located in another area of vehicle

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulation (LOLER) safety checks

• All equipment which is required to lift must be checked by an authorised and approved engineer
• Any item which is required to lift a person or is an attachment to a forklift truck MUST be LOLER every 6 months, in addition to pre-use safety checks by the user
• All other items which are used for lifting must be tested every 12 months, in addition to pre-use safety checks
• All documents must be maintained, and staff trained on how to operate equipment safely

About Ross

Ross spent most of his career – 25 years – in the RAF where Health and Safety (H&S) became an important part of his career.

Ross has worked in the UK, Germany, and Holland where he worked with NATO. In addition, Ross did two tours of the Falkland Islands, Northern Ireland and supported the conflict in Kuwait and Iraq.

Ross began his H&S career in 2004 when he became a Chartered Health and Safety Practitioner in August 2012. Ross is now a Qualified trainer in Health & Safety and First Aid.

Since leaving the RAF, Ross has worked in a variety of business streams and locations. In Libya, he was a seismic health and safety advisor, training locals about the need for H&S in the Sahara Desert.

He has completed tree work surrounding high-voltage power lines; specialised in flexible packaging and previously worked for Lincolnshire Council as an H&S adviser. Ross has been a H&S consultant for Emprocom for four years.

An advanced driver and motorbike rider (IAM), Ross is also a qualified examiner for the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) – for both cars and motorbikes

Ross enjoys sports including Aikido and keeping fit.

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