Working at Height Training - Fit for Purpose

Many organisations are committed to workforce safety and provide sufficient training to new and existing employees to enhance their personal development, ensure safety for all and improve daily operations. However, when it comes to working at height there are still some organisations who are not up to date with the most recent industry training.

The latest report released by the Health and Safety Executive revealed that falls from height accounted for approximately a third of all work-related fatalities in 2022/23. The construction industry saw the most fatal accidents during this period. In 2021/22, falls from height accounted for 8% (approximately 4937 workers) of all non-fatal accidents reported to employers.

Training should never be a choice; it is an obligation that demonstrates a commitment to investing in the skills and safety of the workforce. The challenge with Working at Height training is that those who work at height normally have a large variety of tasks that they are required to complete. Their roles are continuously evolving and becoming more complex which can prove challenging when looking for the most appropriate training course and finding the right supplier.

The Right Training for the Job

Understanding learning requirements is key. Identify the individual’s training requirements by analysing the duties that the worker will undertake in their role. Think about what can be delivered by an external provider and importantly what needs to happen onsite once your employees return to work following initial training. Align these tasks with course specifications to ensure that course content covers the relevant responsibilities within the role and consider the three key elements of training:

Basic training: the basic skills and knowledge required to operate safely and efficiently.

Specific job training: knowledge and understanding of the operating principles and controls of the equipment to be used and how it will be used in their workplace / environment.

Familiarisation training: applying what has been learnt, under normal working conditions, on the job.

Remember that learning does not end at the completion of a test and your workforce will not be competent at the end of a training course. Competence is developed over time and should be regularly reviewed and developed.

Are Accreditations Important?

Industry accreditations such as the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association (PASMA) are key accreditations associated to working at height. These organisations work closely with manufacturers, safety experts and training providers to ensure training and testing standards remain relevant and available for anyone required to work at height.

Always check that your potential supplier is an approved training centre. Courses delivered by an approved training provider will be monitored by the relevant awarding body and meet the latest best practice and guidance.

Remember that the individual learner’s requirements are crucial. Your chosen training provider should work with you, not against you and they should provide any suitable reasonable adjustments to support your learners during their training.

Don't Put Training Off

Be proactive when arranging training. Don’t wait until licenses have expired to look at refresher training because if an accident occurs onsite, this could result in an external investigation. Robust training and development plans for your members of staff will give you a foundation to develop competence throughout your site. Make sure that you provide clear guidance and procedures for any work at height and confirm that your workforce understands them.

For more information on working at height training, then contact our team today.

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