What’s It Like Working At Height?

Here at Yuanda, we have a substantial team of onsite installation experts who are continually working along the skyline of London. Very few people stop to think about what it must be like to work up there and how everyone is kept safe.

This week we check in with the team at The Madison who are currently working on the very top of the building. At 182m tall, there aren’t many people in London working above them (with the exception of pilots!).

Working at height is crucial to our job at Yuanda but the key is to plan accordingly so the team can avoid working at height as much as possible. To understand this we’re going to need to look at what working at height entails.

What is Working at Height?

According to the Health and Safety Executive, “Working at Height Regulations applies to all work at height where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury.

You are working at height if you:

The current regulations (2005) were put into place to ensure that there is a minimum amount of risk for workers at all times. The employer or building owner (or facility manager) is responsible to ensure that all regulations are implemented and that all activities are planned, supervised and carried out by qualified persons.

What Measures Do We Implement To Remain Safe?

When working at height the first step is to assess all risks. We take into account the height of the task, how long the task will take and how often the task will need to be undertaken. Conditions of the surfaces and weather must also be planned accordingly.

In line with HSE regulations, we work through the following 3 step process.

What Is It Like Working At Height?

But reading about working on skyscrapers just isn’t going to do the trick. So I sat down with Catalin Vasilovici to try to understand what it’s like working and managing a team up in the sky.

How long have you been at Yuanda and what’s your role here?

I’ve been working with Yuanda for the last 5 years as an installation supervisor and now as skyline fixing owner.

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on both at Yuanda and before then?

Wow, there’s a lot of them. To date, there has been: Turner Contemporary Art Gallery – Margate, NEQ -Regent Street, 240 Blackfriars Road, The Shard and The Place (the baby shard), Tower Bridge, Indescon, One Blackfriars, Newington Butts – Elephant & Castle, Harbour Central, and the most Iconic one – The Madison!

What drove you to want to work on skyscrapers?

I have always been fascinated by tall buildings/skyscrapers.  Now building them is like a dream come true.

What steps do you take to have the team avoid working at height?

On-site we always working closely with Yuanda management/design and ensure that we combine efficiency and safety together in order to deliver the best practice.

Any innovative solutions you use to keep the team safe?

In terms of working on the edge, we are always looking to plan ahead/before the job is starting and dictating to the client our prefered method of handrail/k-guard installation. We mark up the drawing with the exact location and how far from the slab to be installed in order to make sure none of the operatives are in any danger. This ensures they can work in a safe and efficient manner from behind the k-guard and be protected from the exposed edge.

What are some of your best memories from working at height?

Watching the Sunrise while working nightshifts. Or arriving early in the morning and working above the clouds!

What is it like working with Yuanda?

Working with Yuanda is great! We’re always looking ahead to improve systems, safety and become more efficient. It’s like one big family.


the madison


working at height

How Facade Installation at Height Works

See the team in action at The Madison and understand how they install elements in the video we filmed earlier this year:

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