Section 1: Working at Height
‘Working at Height’ in our superstores would not normally be at extreme heights, so we will cover working on Hop-ups (or kick stools), Short Ladders and Mobile Safety Steps only. If you are needing to work higher than where your foot is higher than 1.5m, you will need to do a specific online course of which there are several available if you Google it.
It is a legal requirement that all equipment used for working at height needs to be checked on a regular basis, ensuring that there are no parts broken, twisted, damaged or missing. It is therefore important that:
- A risk assessment is done by your trading company Health and Safety Manager for working at height, and that they have records of the regular safety checks being completed. You as the volunteer or employee are entitled to view these records.
- Those working at height are competent to do so.
- You understand that working above/off the floor is regarded as “Working at Height”
1) Ladders and Mobile Safety Steps
There are several types of ladders available;
- A step ladder with 4 or 5 steps high is usually more than adequate.
- When buying a ladder, select one with a weight capacity of at least 120Kg. A professional ladder (which have a blue top step) is recommended rather than a DIY model, and can be purchased from Argos or Screwfix using vouchers.
- It is important to ensure the person using the ladder does not exceed the ladder weight capacity!
2) Hop-ups or Kick Steps
These are also available from Argos or Screwfix and are the most commonly used item for working at height.
Common causes for injury on this equipment are;
- Over-reaching, because you can topple over.
- Stepping on or off – you may still have one more step to go!
- The equipment “moving” because it’s on an unstable surface or not safe to use.
- Positioned at the wrong angle so it topples over.
- Misuse – Only use for the intended purpose as a step stool
Accidents can also happen to you and others around you when;
- Handling or moving this equipment.
- If it isn’t kept in good working order.
- If it has been dropped and damaged.
Ensure whoever maintains the equipment is competent to repair it. If in doubt, replace it.
Before using this equipment, always check the following are not damaged;
- Locking mechanism
To position the equipment safely, always ensure;
- The ground is clean and free from debris or slippery substances
- All four feet (or the base on the hop-up) are firmly on the ground
- Locking mechanism is firmly in place
- The steps face the work activity and are not side on
- You are wearing suitable footwear with good grip (not high heels)
Once you have read the above content and are confident you understand it, please proceed to the next section.