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Working at Height at Home during Lockdown

This Spring, due to the lockdown caused by COVID-19 restrictions, more of us are doing DIY around the house. Our good friend Matthew Lavery of Orb Rope Access Ltd provides us with some timely advice.

While we’re at home during this strange period of time, many of us are getting around to those jobs that we have never had time to do; tidy the loft, mow the lawn, decorate the spare room etc.

At some point you may think “I know, I’ll try and clean the gutter, clean the roof, have a look at where the loose slates are, clean the upstairs windows or even try and fell that tree in the garden.

Most households lack the vast selection of tools or equipment needed for these jobs. At best they will have a medium sized ladder and toolbox. With this in mind, corners are cut and an ‘’it will be fine” attitude is taken.

All of these tasks, and many others that seem to be everyday home maintenance, all involve working at height. They can, and have, resulted in many serious injuries or even worse. Accidents at home are responsible for approximately 6000 deaths annually, with falls being the most common.

Domestic falls from height are extremely common, from standing on chairs changing light bulbs to falling from roofs and trees.

With us all spending more time at home in the next few weeks these figures are likely to rise. Emergency services are already stretched beyond capacity with the present situation. We all need to make a sensible decision as to whether a DIY project is safe or not.

Consider your safety when completing jobs at home

It’s easy to leave home maintenance to a professional, but when it comes to our homes, we like to do things ourselves and DIY is more popular than ever.

Please just ask yourself a few questions before you begin, to ensure you and others are safe. Some things to consider would be:

· Do you have the correct tools for the project?

· Are all tools in good working order?

· Do you need to run cables for power/jet wash to the work site? (A cable will create other hazards to consider.)

· Do you have safe access and egress from the project area?

Other safety considerations for working from height at home