The Basics Of Health And Safety For Working At Heights


Providing equipment for height access is a task, which makes the company responsible for the quality of the machines and the training of the operator. Working at heights requires the knowledge of health and safety basics, which are vital to completing the project on time and keeping all the parties involved happy and safe.

At Alpha Platforms, we would like to share these basics with anyone, who is planning height access manipulations in the nearest future.

Sharing The Responsibility

Who is responsible for the safety on the site? The renting party, the hirer and the user are. Both are responsible for ensuring the proper equipment is used and operated according to the instructions. Good planning coupled with proper operator’s training can ensure efficiency, increase productivity, and minimize risk.

Planning And Organizing

All operations at heights require proper supervision. The supervisor has to check that the job was properly discussed with the operators and other workers to make sure everyone is aware of the risks as well as the work plan.

In order to choose the right equipment for the job, all the risks have to be discussed in advance. Risk assessment, method statement, and an emergency rescue plan must be in place.


All height-access equipment operators must be adequately trained. Proper training doesn’t just reduce the chances of accidents, it can enhance awareness and save money. If you are renting height-access equipment, the company is responsible for providing a trained operator. It’s your responsibility to check the credentials.

Even the most experienced equipment operator needs some time to familiarize himself with the new equipment.

Risk Assessment

A full risk assessment must be done before starting the work at heights. It’s important to discuss such things as ground condition, weather conditions (wind speed), operator training and safety, and equipment maintenance. It’s integral to maintain a distance when working with power lines since they often become a cause for accidents and deaths.

Emergency Assistance

It’s important to have a plan for emergency rescue situations when people are working at heights. A quick reaction to someone, who is in trouble when high up, can make a difference between life and death as well as sustained injuries.

A rescue plan must be worked out carefully so, in case of an emergency, it could be carried out quickly and safely.



The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide in the widest sense – through providing technical advice and information; through influencing and interpreting legislation and standards; and through safety initiatives and training programmes. IPAF is a not-for-profit organisation owned by its members, which include manufacturers, rental companies, distributors, contractors and users. IPAF members operate a majority of the MEWP rental fleet worldwide and manufacture about 85% of platforms on the market.
- Read more