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Working At Height Myths Debunked

Posted: 10/08/2016

It’s important to stay safe when working at height but a few myths about such operations in the workplace have sprung up over the years. Here are a few rumours you may have heard about working at height and what the reality actually is.

Qualifications are required to use ladders at work

This simply isn’t the case. In order to use a ladder at work, you need to be competent but you don’t need a formal qualification. You have to have the appropriate experience, knowledge and skills to use a ladder properly or be under the supervision of someone who can do the task competently.

If you consider the inherent risks with using ladders, the potential for falls, not being secured correctly, the user not correctly trained in how to use them and the fact that the user is likely to be working at height, typical on the job training isn’t ideal or sufficient. For an employee to feel confident and competent in ladder use and working at height, they should undertake ladder training as part of an overall working at height training course.

Two feet and one hand must always be on the stepladder

Again, this isn’t true. If you’re hanging wallpaper, for example, you’ll need to have both of your hands free. In this case, you need to maintain three points of contact in your working position – so this could be both your feet and your body.

Ladder use to access scaffolds has been banned

Yet another myth that is heard a lot on building sites. You can use a ladder to access scaffolding as long as it’s the right kind of ladder, is properly secure and is in good condition.

If your organisation operates within the renewables and offshore wind or is a contractor working within these sectors, contact HFR Solutions CIC to find out about GWO working at height training courses. We also offer other basic safety training packages so you’re sure to find at least one that suits your immediate needs.