How to work at height safely with Werner

How to work at height safely with Werner

Mark Robson, Product Manager at Werner, shares his top three tips to help professionals work at height safely. 

New statistics from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveal that, in the past year, deaths caused by falls from height have risen from 123 to 135. This increase is a real blow to the industry and further highlights the importance of work at height safety.  

Working at height poses an inherent risk and without proper safety measures in place, accidents can occur. These accidents can, at best, cause delays on the job, and at worst, cause serious injuries and even fatalities. By prioritising safety when working at height, professionals can create a working culture of best practice, protect themselves and those around them, and minimise accidents.

Choosing the correct equipment  

Before undertaking any job at height, it is critical for professionals to give consideration to the equipment needed to carry out the task safely. Different types of ladders are best suited to different heights of work, surfaces and purposes. For example, due to their adjustable height, extension ladders are ideal for gaining access to roof ladders or jobs that require higher reach; while step ladders are more suited to lower-level work, as well as being able to provide additional stability due to their four points of contact with the ground. 

Work platforms offer an ideal alternative when carrying out jobs at low levels; a wide working space provides professionals with plenty of room to manoeuvre, which offers wider footprint with extra stability, as well as helping to minimise the time spent stepping on and off to move it around the working space.  

Best practice 

In order to spot potential faults and ensure that it is safe to use, professionals should carry out equipment inspections before and after every job. Signs to look out for include worn feet; bent or dented stiles; cracked, bent worn or loose rungs; and cracked or damaged welded joints. A damaged piece of equipment must be taken out of service immediately, and professionals should never put themselves at risk of injury by continuing to use it in order to avoid downtime.

The risk of accidents when carrying out a job at low-level height should never be overlooked. Using incorrect equipment can cause a lack of balance and stability, which can result in injury; therefore, professionals should always do a thorough assessment ahead of time to ensure that they are not using equipment which requires them to lean or stretch, or which can’t be safely positioned on the surface it is being used upon. 

Whilst using access equipment, professionals should ensure they are giving their full attention to the task in order to reduce the risk of trips and falls due to lack of concentration. This means avoiding using mobile phones or chatting with colleagues. Similarly, when it comes to working at height from a ladder, professionals should always maintain a three-point contact at all times and make use of ladder accessories, tool trays or belts to avoid carrying tools up and down in-hand and to minimise the risk of losing balance.  


From inspecting equipment and carrying out jobs safely, to staying on top of changing industry regulations – undertaking regular training plays an essential role in helping professionals maintain best practice at work and avoid injury. This can be achieved by undertaking annual refresher training or attending online seminars. In doing this, professionals can ensure they are working in compliance with the current regulations, as well as help themselves to avoid accidents by reinforcing long-term competence and safe behaviours.   

Practical training should always include fall protection training wherever possible, which equips professionals with the ability to identify hazards in the workplace, carry out prevention measures and know how to act in an emergency, as well as understand HSE rules and the legal responsibilities both workers and employers hold. 

WernerCo offers various work at height training courses, including the Ladder Association’s accredited Ladders & Stepladders Users Course, as well as PASMA training courses. In addition, the Werner Stepping Up to Ladder Safety campaign features a range of downloadable guides demonstrating best practice across a variety of different topics, from how to choose the correct ladder for the job, to how to inspect access equipment correctly. 

When it comes to work at height safety, care, attention to detail and best practice are critical to helping prevent accidents. However, by prioritising work safety through undertaking regular training, maintaining best practice on the job and always using equipment correctly, professionals can ensure they are working as safely as possible and, in turn, help to reduce the number of fatalities reported each year.  

To view Werner’s Ladder Safety Guides visit Stepping up to Ladder Safety | Werner UK (

To find out more information on the range of access solutions and training available from Werner visit Werner UK – #1 Choice for Trade Professionals | Werner UK (

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