It is easy to assume that working at height only refers to the guys hanging off ropes halfway up the side of a building, however, the reality is that the majority of cleaning operatives will also frequently be working at height to complete their day to day tasks.
That comes as a surprise to most and may be one of the reasons why according to the HSE, falling from height is one of the most frequent causes of workplace injuries. If you are not aware you are doing it you are unlikely to be taking the necessary precautions. The dangers are more evident in the construction industry but yet construction workers have a better safety record than cleaning operatives.
Working at height means carrying out tasks in any place where if you fell you could cause yourself an injury. This means you are working at height if you are above floor level, you are even working at height at floor level if there is a risk you could fall into an opening or hole in the ground / floor.
High level cleaning is more dangerous than ground level tasks and each task requires specific risk assessments and method statements (RAMS).
Ladders and stepladders are perfectly acceptable tools for safe working at height, contrary to popular belief, ladders have not been banned from the workplace. It is also essential that the area where the task is taking place is properly prepared with hazards removed and passers-by kept at a safe distance. As well as ladders, water fed poles are now a popular way to clean high levels with a reduced risk to all parties concerned.
Specialist skills, specific equipment and strategic planning are essential for organising and completing cleaning work at height.
We use rope access techniques and apparatus, have a team of fully trained staff with the appropriate accreditations available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week and conduct comprehensive RAMS before carrying out any work even if it is at a site we have been to before.
Under the Work at Height Regulations it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure any work at height is properly planned, organised and carried out by competent people and we take these responsibilities seriously. So before you carry out any work at height, think carefully, if you don’t employ working at height specialists, there could be serious moral, legal and financial repercussions. Avoid putting your company and people at risk and use specialists today.