Work at height: what are they and why is their demand increasing?

Since ancient times, mankind has built great monuments that required workers to rise to significant heights above ground level to realize their magnificent designs.

Today, work at height is defined as anything that takes place in a place where, if precautions are not taken, a person can fall a considerable distance, causing bodily injury and even death.

To consider work at height, tasks must take place above ground level or there is a risk of falling from an edge, through an opening or a fragile surface.

A slip or trip on a level does not qualify as an accident at height because a fall from a height implies that it is from a higher level to a lower level. Tasks involving climbing up and down a permanent ladder in a building are also not included.

When the tasks cannot be performed at ground level and it is necessary to perform work at height, a series of measures must be followed to prevent falls and accidents, as well as the use of specialized machinery that offers safety and efficiency when working at height. .

Strong demand for professionals for work at height

Work at height must comply with certain regulations and safety measures. Among these, contractors must recruit competent and trained workers in the field to ensure that the tasks are carried out in the most efficient and safe manner possible.

With the significant investments in public and private infrastructure that we see growing after the pandemic, these professionals are in high demand given the need for skilled labor.

Operators trained in the use of lifting gear such as scissor lifts may have greater opportunities to work on projects where the use of such gear is required and currently this is the case for works of different sizes ranging from residences to large skyscrapers.

essential equipment

From traditional scaffolding to efficient lifting platforms, working at height always requires some type of lifting mechanism, manual or motorized, capable of bringing workers, tools and materials to the point of work.

We will see buildings surrounded by scaffolding which remain erect sometimes for months until the works are finished. And we also see, with growing importance, aerial platforms, whether articulated, telescopic or scissor lifts, carrying out construction, maintenance and restoration tasks, with greater practicality and efficiency than those offered by ladders or scaffolding.

Having these teams becomes easier. For example, rent machines for work at height in Madrid or other major cities has become extremely easy, thanks to the increase in supply that has occurred in recent years. Rental options are vast, allowing contractors to make the most of the different types of tail lifts that can be tailored to each project.

One of the great advantages of choosing to hire lifting equipment for work at height is that hirers offer their customers machines that are in perfectly maintained condition, guaranteeing that the tasks are carried out in complete safety. the corresponding technical aspect. . .

Importance of working at heights training

In Spain, as in the rest of Europe, there are strict regulations regarding this type of work which involves a great risk for workers. It is recommended that work at height be properly planned and organized taking into account safety and precautionary rules and measures.

A concrete way to meet these requirements is to have trained personnel, because training and knowledge of driving and safety rules can prevent most accidents.

A trained professional, in addition to having the knowledge to operate a lifting machine or MEWP, will know that he must take certain measures such as:

  • inspect machinery

Operators should perform an inspection before starting a shift with a tail lift to identify any potential hazards or defects that could affect machine safety.

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions

The manufacturer’s instructions are specific to the make and model of lift. They detail the weight and height capacities and limitations that should never be exceeded to avoid accidents.

  • Inspect the work area

For indoor and outdoor work, area conditions should be reviewed to identify any potential hazards. Maximum ceiling height, terrain, and weather conditions or possible obstructions should be considered before starting a tail lift.

  • Use fall protection equipment

The use of this fall arrest equipment protects workers from possible fatal accidents and is essential in the use of aerial platforms that reach great heights.

  • Do not sit or climb on the edge of the basket

Guardrails are intended to protect workers from falls and should not be used for climbing or sitting down as this may cause the basket to tip over.

  • Do not exceed height and load capacity limits

The maximum weight and height limits established by the manufacturer must always be observed.

When calculating the total weight, the estimated weight of the operator must be included, as well as the materials and tools that must be lifted at the point of work.

  • Clear the work area

The entire circumference of the tail lift must be clear of all personnel and warning signs must be posted in the work area.

The importance of the role of education and training in the prevention of accidents is increasingly evident, even more in the case of these machines which reach extreme heights which can be fatal. Those with specific training for working at height will be assured of strong demand for their services in a period which, despite the global crisis, projects a great boost to infrastructure development and economic recovery in Spain.


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