Opinion

Safety Steps shows the way to safe work at height

Paul Reeve CFIOSH is chair of the CONIAC Work at Height sub-group and director of CSR at ECA.

Safe work at height is fundamentally important in occupational safety, so it’s been particularly satisfying to help produce a new, and free, output in this area called Safety Steps.

Safety Steps provides a range of essential safety messages which can be applied to any type of work at height, for five key target audiences:

  • designers
  • clients
  • managers
  • supervisors, and
  • operatives.

It’s an "enabling" document, meaning it’s not designed to be handed out directly, but to enable others to produce any type of output on work at height without having to look around for, or create, essential safety messages and information.

Drawn up with expert input via the Construction Industry Advisory Committee's (CONIAC) Managing Risk Well (MRW) group, from across construction, maintenance and other sectors such as agriculture, Safety Steps aims to help any organisation to generate – or check and update – outputs such as training content, poster or social media campaigns, toolbox talks, handbooks, message cards, infographics and more.

Safety Steps covers general rather than task-specific work at height, so it doesn’t cover specific aspects such as scaffolding or mobile work platforms, working on roofs or arboriculture. However, the general information entirely underpins these and other specific activities.

Significantly, the MRW group has found the Safety Steps approach to be potentially useful for other types of occupational hazard, and it is looking into the scope for further, audience-specific, enabling documents.

Meanwhile, Safety Steps is kindly hosted by the AIF and all comments are welcome. It is free to access here.

 

Paul Reeve CFIOSH is chair of the CONIAC Work at Height sub-group and director of CSR at ECA. 

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