Are you scared of working at heights?

Falls from height are associated with more fatal and major/specified injuries to workers than any other kind of injury.In the UK in 2015/16 falls from height were the most common cause of fatalities, 37 dead, and the most common cause of major/specified injuries; accounting for some 156,000.Working from heights

So this week I thought we would look at working at height looking at the areas of risk, the fears some people have and their reasons for hiding these fears from others. I also consider what employers could do to reduce the number of falls from height.


This week’s 2 recent HSE case look at:

As ever, if you have a subject that you would like us to cover one week, please contact us by phone 01458 253682, email or via our Facebook page or by Twitter


Are you scared of working at heights?

Falls from height are associated with more fatal and major/specified injuries to workers than any other kind of injury. In the UK in 2013/14 falls from height were the most common cause of fatalities, and the second most common cause of major/specified injuries; accounting for some 567,000 Lost Work Days.

Older males the most likely victims!

Most fatalities occurred in construction, agriculture, facilities maintenance, and manufacturing, with older male victims being dis-proportionally represented. Ok, so it is generally accepted that more men than women, work in the high risk industries for working at heights. But why the older male?

As part of our services I offer a scaffold inspection service, I know that it takes self-confidence to be able to work at a height. These days, even though I am still happy and able to walk scaffolds, I do not have that same level of confidence that I used to have, probably because it is not something I do every day.

In the workplace, it is also true that many people assigned to work at a height do not do it every day, which could mean their confidence levels are not that high, even if they are not scared of heights: those people who are fearful of heights are very unlikely to feel confident when placed in any height situation at any time.

Although not specified by HSE, the opportunities for a fall from height are greater when ladders are used, when people ascend/descend steps and stairways, when sheeting/roping on lorry trailers, climbing out of lorry cabs, and working on structures without leading edge protection.

Acrophobiaworking-from-height

Most people are scared of something (spiders, snakes, etc.), with many people being scared of heights, and some being extremely fearful (Acrophobia from the Greek: ákron , meaning “peak, summit, edge” and phóbos, “fear”).

When someone is fearful, they tend to focus solely on the object or situation that is scaring them, to the exclusion of anything else. As long as the person holds the fear in check, it can lead to continuous risk assessment as they try to ensure their safety. If unchecked, the person’s estimate of the danger increases exponentially, to the point that anxiety and distress can cause them to freeze and/or become a danger to themselves and others such as running to escape even though high up on a scaffold.

This can manifest itself at any time. Indeed I know an ex roofer who, having worked happily on roofs all his working life, suddenly at age of 46 had an attack of acrophobia and froze on the roof and had to be helped down. He has never felt safe enough to return to roofs.

Hiding of fearsStress

In the workplace, there are many social pressures that lead people to hide their fears. As such, it is highly likely that some fall victims are people who have hidden their fear of heights from their workmates and managers, perhaps because of ‘perceived mickey taking’ or fear of losing their job.

So what can you do to help?

One way that may help reduce the number of falls from height could be to identify those who are fearful of heights before allocating them to such tasks. This could be done by HR during selection tests, prior to hire, assuming detailed job descriptions are available. At the very least, simply asking people if they are comfortable working at a height should become a recognised part of a risk assessment or permit-to-work process, particularly if they are over 50 years of age. It could also prove useful for incident investigators to explicitly explore the possibility that a fall from height victim was height-fearful.

If you would like any further help or support, please please contact us by phone 01458 253682, email or via our Facebook page or by Twitter


We are exhibiting in 2017

As part of our 25th anniversary celebrations the Wilkins Safety Group are exhibiting at 3 Business Expos this year in Exeter, Swindon and Bristol.

The first of these is at the South West Business Expo on Thursday 30th March at the Matford Centre, Marsh Barton, Exeter EX2 8FD.

We are Stand 131 wheSW business expore you can meet members of our team and discuss your Health & Safety concerns and learn what we can do to takes the worry of dealing with Health & Safety regulations off your hands, leaving you free to concentrate on running your business the way you want to.

There will also be free to enter Prize Draw25 years

Don’t miss your opportunity to visit over 170 exhibitors, be inspired by many Free Seminars and enjoy many Networking events through-out the Expo from Speed Networking to the Networking Cafe. There will also be Live Cookery Demonstrations with local chefs from restaurants showing off their skills


Training Courses

The first of our courses in 2017 are listed below.

We are also looking to run some short Health and Safety awareness sessions to emphasise the need for improving your H&S procedures.

Also remember we are still available for running “In House” courses and are looking to add new training courses to our list.

If you have any questions about these courses or any other training or would like us to run a particular course for you, call Jon Wilkins of the Wilkins Safety Group on 01458 253682 or email him


First Aid at Work

All employers in the UK have a legal obligation to make first aid provision for their employees. This course is ideal for those who are going to be a nominated First-AidFirst Aider in the workplace. This 3 day course meets the statutory requirements of the Health & Safety Executive. Candidates must be of a working age and intend to practice first aid in the workplace during the validity of the certificate.

The course duration is 3 days and a certificate of competence lasting three years will be awarded on successful completion of the course.

Updated to cover the control of catastrophic bleeding

SYLLABUS:

  • Course introduction.
  • Legal compliance.
  • Managing incidents.
  • Examining a casualty.
  • Conscious/unconscious casualties.
  • Treating a casualty.
  • Further emergency action.
  • General common illnesses.
  • Basic life support.
  • First aid kits/equipment.
  • Recording/reporting injuries.

Course Duration:  3 Days

Course RefDate(s)Location
WSG. FAW. 170127th, 28th Feb & 1st Mar 2017The Corner House Hotel, Park Street, Taunton, Somerset  TA1 4DQ
Book Now!


Re-qualification First Aid at Work

This First Aid at Work Refresher course is designed for anyone who has previously completed the 3 day First Aid at Work qualification and needs to renew their skillset and certification. This refresher lasts 2 days and secures the delegates’ qualification for a further 3 years before the course will need to be retaken.

Updated to cover the control of catastrophic bleedingFirst-Aid at work

SYLLABUS

  • Course introduction.
  • Legal compliance.
  • Managing incidents.
  • Examining a casualty.
  • Conscious/unconscious casualties.
  • Treating a casualty.
  • Further emergency action.
  • General common illnesses.
  • Basic life support.
  • First aid kits/equipment.
  • Recording/reporting injuries.

Course Duration: 2 Days

Course RefDate(s)Location
WSG. FAW. 170128th Feb & 1st Mar 2017The Corner House Hotel, Park Street, Taunton, Somerset  TA1 4DQ
Book Now!


 Site Manager Safety Training Scheme

(Part of Construction Skills “Site Safety Plus” Suite of Courses)

Target AudienceSite Manager Safety Training Scheme

Site managers, agents and persons who are, or are about to be, responsible for planning, organising, monitoring, controlling or administering groups of staff and workforce.

Aims & Objectives

To help site managers, agents and supervisors to:

  • Manage health & safety on site in accordance with current legal provisions, and within the context of their management or supervisory role
  • Develop an understanding of responsibilities and accountability for site health, safety and welfare
  • Recognise that a safe site is efficient, economical and productive

Delegates will, at the end of the training, be aware of and able to:

  • Implement all health, safety, welfare and environmental legislation which affects them during their work
  • Implement new guidance and industry best practice
  • State their duties and responsibilities with regards to health, safety, welfare and the environment

Course Notes / Assessment / Certification

Candidates will be issued a copy of GE700/16 – Site Safety Simplified and the course study notes.

Candidates will be assessed through 3 Core Exercises and an end of course examination.

Certificates are issued by Construction Skills and are valid for 5 years.

Date(s)Location
13th – 15th March inc  and 20th & 21st March 2017Mendip Vocational Skills Centre, Mendip Business Park, Mendip Road, Rooksbridge,  Somerset, BS26 2UG
Book Now!


CDM Regulations 2015 – An Awareness Course

Course Objective: Training /CPD and APS CertificatesCDM Regulations 2015 – An Awareness Course

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) come into force on the 6th of April 2015, and will apply to all construction projects in the UK incl. Domestic projects

This CDM 2015 awareness training course has been developed to provide all duty holders with an understanding of their role and responsibilities under CDM 2015.

Seminar Outline:

  • Introduction to CDM 2015
  • Notification
  • Client Duties and Domestic Clients
  • Principal Designer Duties
  • Principal Contractor Duties
  • Designer Duties
  • Contractor Duties
  • CDM Documentation
  • Benefits of Attending

These courses give an overview of the requirements for Clients, Principal Designers, Principal Contractors, Contractors, Designers and Workers, and how the regulations apply to construction projects.

An individual who successfully completes this CDM2015 Awareness Course may claim points towards membership of the Association for Project Safety – APS

Course Duration: 1 day

Course refDate(s)Location
CDM2015 1701Monday 13th March 2017Taunton Racecourse, Orchard Portman, Taunton, Somerset TA3 7BL
Book Now!


ASBESTOS AWARENESS – Half-Day Course

Course Objective – Training /CPD Certificate issued

Asbestos awareness training is essential for employees whose work holds the potential to expose them to asbestos. The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 puts a requirement on employers to ensure that their staff have undergone suitable asbestos awareness training so that they are aware of the potential dangers they may face and also the procedures they must follow in the event they are working in the vicinity of asbestos containing materials (ACMs)

Who Is This Course Suitable For?asbestos

The main groups of workers that are deemed to be at risk from asbestos exposure and therefore the groups’ most requiring asbestos awareness training are as follows:

  • General Maintenance Staff.
  • Electricians, Plumbers & Gas Fitters. Painters & Decorators.
  • Construction & Demolition Workers. Joiners and Plasterers.
  • Computing & Telecommunications Engineers.
  • Heating & Ventilation Engineers.
  • Roofers.
  • Architects & Building Surveyors
  • Fire & Burglar Alarm Installers

Syllabusasbestos types

  • Asbestos- a  history of use
  • What is Asbestos
  • Amosite (Brown) – Chrysotile (White) – Crocidolite (Blue)
  • Asbestos Containing Product Examples
  • Asbestos Properties and the hidden legacy of asbestos
  • Control of Asbestos Regs and Requirements
  • Exactly who is at risk
  • Action to take on discovery and Survey and Recording

Course Duration:½ day – 13:30 Hrs to 16:30Hrs

Course refDate(s)Location
ASBESTA 1701Wednesday 22nd March 2017Taunton Racecourse, Orchard Portman, Taunton, Somerset TA3 7BL
Book Now!