Did you know that falls from a height are the biggest killer of UK workers?
Approximately 60% of those who die due to sustaining a fall at work had been working on ladders, scaffolds, work platforms, roof edges or fragile roofs. However, falls don’t discriminate and they can happen at any time, to anyone and for any reason.
As well as death, falls can result in serious life-changing injuries. Worse still, injuries due to falls are usually avoidable had the proper health and safety guidance been followed.
We encourage all workplaces to undergo health and safety training. Plus ensure they consult us here at Metreel for advice on things safety while working at height.
In the meantime, here are the basics on what first aid measures should be taken in the event someone suffers a fall.
“First aid is extremely important in the workplace as it can be the difference between someone having life-changing injuries (or worse) as appose to someone being provided immediate aid to reduce injuries and mental effects. First aid is a sense of reassurance for employees and also the support needed in that waiting period which can be very frightening. Especially in the current climate with waiting times for emergency services being longer than usual, having sufficient first aiders in place can play a critical role in maintaining the safety and health of your employees.”Lydia Benham, Health and Safety Consultant, Guardian Support
Falls Without Any Safety Equipment
Falls from a height without any fall protection safety equipment pose the greatest risk of serious injury or death.
The emergency services should be called immediately. Ideally, have one person stay with the patient while the other deals with the emergency services, as they may need assistance in locating the patient.
The most likely injuries include head injuries, along with neck and spine fractures as well as pelvic fractures. Therefore, it is essential not to move the patient due to the risk of making any injuries worse.
If at any time the patient stops breathing, perform CPR. Ideally, all workplaces should have a defibrillator. If you don’t know where your nearest defibrillator is, use this defibrillator finder.
If the patient is conscious, reassure them that help is on the way and try to keep them as calm as possible. Ensure they remain still until help arrives, who will then be able to safely remove them from the scene.
Falls With Safety Equipment
If someone has experienced a fall while wearing safety equipment, or if any safety equipment has failed then the above advice still applies, should the patient be showing signs of serious injury or is complaining of any pain.
That is, you should call the emergency services and keep them as still as possible until help arrives.
When safety equipment such as fall restraint or abseil equipment has been used, the risk of a fall, let alone serious injury from a fall is significantly reduced.
In some instances, fall arrest safety equipment is the only feasible option, which does increase the risk of injury versus being completely restrained as is the case with a fall restraint system.
It is therefore the case that by wearing fall protection equipment, any injuries that do occur are far less likely to be serious, if any injuries do occur at all.
Dos And Don’ts Of Working At Height
Do – as much work as possible from the ground
Do – ensure safety equipment is fit for purpose and has been inspected before each use
Do – conduct regular health and safety training to minimise the risk of falls due to human error
Do – consider training to deal with emergency responses
Do – appoint a qualified first aid provider within your workforce
Don’t – work without fall protection systems when they are a basic health and safety requirement
Don’t – overload ladders or exceed safe limits with any fall protection systems
Don’t – rest a ladder against improper surfaces which are not designed to bear weight
Don’t – overreach on ladders or stepladders
Don’t – allow anyone who isn’t competent to scale heights
If you’d like to find out more about health and safety or you’d like to get some official training to ensure that you’re ready for any possible issues, take a look at the emergency first aid courses that are available.
Fall Protection Equipment UK By Metreel
Are you confident that your team is protected from falls they may sustain while at work? Don’t leave it until you are looking up first aid advice for real. Act now to protect your workforce from serious injury or death due to sustaining a fall from a height.
Metreel is a leading UK manufacturer of fall protection equipment. Our fall protection and work access products span rigid rail anchor systems, fall arrest systems, fall restraint systems, abseil systems, building maintenance equipment and vertical access ladders.
Wherever your team is based, and whatever industry or application your team works with, Metreel will make your operations safer and more efficient for your whole team.