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Skyfall – the ultimate work at height risk assessment

Category: Health & Safety | Bryan Richards Twitter | Published on: Oct 19, 2012 | Updated: Dec 12, 2016 Read more: Health & Safety

After his breathtaking space jump from 128,000 feet (24 miles), Felix Baumgartner said that when he was about to jump the records did not matter BBC News. His focus was to get to the ground safely as so many people, friends and family were watching. I watched the jump on the Red Bull website with my son and there were well over 300 million people on the site at the time. That is some audience. You can see the fantastic highlights of the event at Red Bull.

There were some tense moments as he spun out of control in the first part of the jump, but the years of planning and preparation paid off and the jump was an outstanding success for human endeavour and for science and technology.

It is extremely unlikely that any of us will ever take part in such a high risk event. However, as the European Week of health and Safety at Work approaches, we are reminded that many people suffer injuries and ill health at work from carrying out far less dangerous activities. One of the key reasons for this is the variable way that employers balance the risk against the cost of taking action to minimize the risk.

In the case of the space jump, a considerable amount of time trouble and effort was put into calculating and minimizing the risk, which all of us would expect. However, for many work activities there is either a low perception of risk or the costs of properly managing the risk is seen as prohibitive.

What can we learn from this?

Firstly, it is essential that employers identify the significant, and foreseeable risks to safety and health in their workplaces (see Bryan’s Blog from April). Secondly, actions should be identified that will minimize the risk. The higher the risk, the more time, resources and money would be expected in the eyes of the law.

Contact us

If you want to know more about assessing and managing risk as part of your business operations, please call me on: mobile 0780 361 2948, office 0207 947 9581, or drop me a line at b.richards@arinite.com.

Bryan Richards 16h October 2012

Arinite Ltd, Warnford Court, 29 Throgmorton Street, London EC2N 2AT

 
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