Work at height is some of the most dangerous and requires specialised qualifications.
Height work is carried out by, among others:
- industrial climbers (window cleaning, hanging billboards, clearing snow from roofs);
- construction workers (on façades);
- electricians (e.g. at electrical towers).
Who can carry out work at heights?
Work at height is work using scaffolding, building structures, ladders and other elevations that are at least one metre from the floor or ground.
Work at height may be carried out by persons who comply with the following rules.
- Have a current medical certificate that there are no contraindications to working at height. It is essential to record whether the work will be carried out at a height above or below 3 metres.
- They have received health and safety training and training specific to their job.
- The employer provided them with personal protective equipment and the knowledge of how to use it.
- They know the risks specific to the work they do.
What responsibilities does the employer have?
Work at height is classed as particularly hazardous, and it follows that the employer has a number of obligations that govern the safe performance of workers.
- Provide designated persons with a function to supervise work at height.
- Provision of individual and collective protective equipment.
- Provision of job instruction.
What are the causes of falls?
- Low awareness of possible risks.
- Lack of detailed planning of work at heights.
- Lack of training and work instruction.
- Inadequate supervision of people who work at heights.
- Poor technical condition of protection equipment.
- Lack of safety equipment.
- Inadequate use of protective equipment.
Working at heights involves a great deal of responsibility on the part of both the employee and the employer. In order for the work to be carried out safely, health and safety rules must be complied with, but also the employer should provide the necessary protective measures and training to its employee.
The profession of industrial climber is becoming increasingly popular. Industrial climbers are involved in, among other things, cleaning the windows of high-rise buildings, clearing snow from roofs, hanging billboards, cleaning gutters and working on electrical towers. Specialised qualifications and training are required for this occupation. Qualifications as a high altitude climber are valid for three years. Training programmes for work at height offer theoretical and practical preparation for the profession. The following topics are developed: legal foundations, preparation for work, equipment and belaying rules, occupational health and safety, rules of conduct in case of a fall from height.
Questions and answers
What work counts as work at height?
Work at height includes industrial mountaineering and work on scaffolding, ceilings, chimneys, ladders or power poles.
What are the causes of falls from height?
The most common causes of falls from height include: a lack of responsibility on the part of the employer and a failure to comply with the obligations he should fulfil towards the workers, i.e. instruction and training and providing them with SOI (Personal Protective Equipment). Other causes include: lack of a supervisor, poor condition or incomplete climbing and belaying equipment, lack of safeguards, low awareness of workers, lack of a work plan.
How long is the licence for working at height valid?
Qualifications to carry out work at height are valid for three years. After this period, a training course must be held to refresh and update knowledge. The qualification certificate is obtained after passing the state examination.
What obligations does the employer have in relation to workers at height?
It is the employer's responsibility, among other things, to train and instruct workers in working at height and in the use of equipment, to appoint a supervisor for the work and to provide personal protective equipment for each worker.