Working at height is something that many people need to do, whether professionally or just carrying out work at home. Of course when you work at height you are putting yourself in a dangerous position – this is something often not taken as seriously as it should be. Here are five questions that you need to answer before you carry out any work at height.

Is there are a safer way to carry out the work?

The first and most important question that you need to answer is whether there is a safer way to carry out the work. Working at height comes with inherent risks due to the danger of injuries from falling. If there is a way that the work can be accomplished rather than having someone carry out the task at height, it will undoubtedly be a safer option.

As a basic example, many people believe that cleaning windows requires climbing a ladder and carrying out the work there. But in many cases it is just as easy to clean the window from inside the building, therefore requiring no-one to but themselves at height.

Have you been properly trained for the tasks you are being asked to perform?

Another issue that regularly affects employees is that they are asked to do a job that they don’t feel trained for. Working at height puts you in a very precarious position, so you need to feel absolutely sure that you have been adequately trained for anything you are asked to do.

Do you have the right equipment for the job?

Choosing the right equipment can make the difference between work that is completely safe and work that puts you at serious risk. Too many people simply reach for the first ladder they can find when they are asked to carry out a task at height, but this never a good idea.

There are many different types of ladders that are suitable for different tasks. Equally, it may even be sensible for you to use a scaffold tower if it would be more appropriate. Talk through the different options with someone experienced in working at height.

Is the weather suitable for work at height?

You need to consider the weather. Strong winds and inclement conditions can turn a perfectly safe task into an extremely dangerous one. Check forecasts and use common sense to determine if it is safe for you to work at height.

Is your equipment in good working order?

Make sure that you thoroughly check each piece of equipment to ensure that it is in good working order before you use it. Equipment can deteriorate over time especially if it is not maintained properly, so carry out your checks and don’t use anything that you wouldn’t feel confident on.