Safety must be paramount when you or your employees are working at height.
In the year 2021/22, the Health and Safety Executive reported 123 workers were killed in work-related accidents. Of those, 29 deaths were as a result of a fall from height.
Ensuring your workers are properly trained for working at height is imperative. They must be aware of all the potential hazards to work safely and sensibly.
This blog aims to highlight the top 10 tips to ensure the safety of your workforce when working at height.
Top 7 Working At Height Safety Tips
Identify Need For Working At Height
OK, this sounds like a bit of a cop-out to start with, but bear with us.
Depending on your industry, the legitimate need for working at height can and should be addressed. If you have to climb up scaffolding to fix a roof, then the chances are there won’t be too many alternatives. But ‘working from height’ isn’t just determined by working above the ground. Anywhere there is an opportunity to fall is classed as height.
If there’s any chance of eliminating an unnecessary risk (EXAMPLE), do so.
Ladder, Lift Or Scaffold?
So you’ve established that working from height is unavoidable.
Choosing the right equipment is critical. Will a ladder suit your needs best? Or would scaffolding be a more sensible option? Lift? Depending on the task at hand, there are many different options available. Common sense and a risk assessment should help you identify the best apparatus for the job.
Railings are a good safety option. Many different types of railings are available (e.g. non-penetrating roof railing, parapet mounted railing, metal roof railing). Once in place, they are the easiest ‘’fall protection system” because no training or extra equipment is required. Where possible, use railing as a great way to ensure worker safety.
Choose Proper PPE
There are many types of PPE equipment, some of which can be considerably more expensive than others.
The cheapest is not always the best, but then neither is the most expensive. You need to consider what will be the best for your particular tasks.
For example, a standard nylon harness would not be suitable if you’re welding at heights.
Inspect Your PPE
Once you have identified the best forms of PPE, regularly inspecting them is vital.
A competent person should inspect Harnesses and lanyards annually (at least). But the individual user should also check the equipment before using it each time. Therefore, they must be aware of what to look for and what to do if the equipment is not up to scratch.
Acceptable Anchor Points
If you are using PPE equipment, remember they can be rendered completely useless if you haven’t identified a suitable anchor point.
A good anchor point is one that:
a. Has been designed and approved by a professional engineer
b. Can handle a load of 2270kg
DON’T use a drainpipe, for example!
Working At Height Safety Training
If your workers are properly trained to spot potential hazards when working at height, this can help ensure a safer working environment.
Professional training centres can provide vital information, with modules including:
• How to work at height
• Safely / using specialist equipment
• Prevention of falls
• Fall arrest and prevention systems
• Practical harness fitting and inspections
• Safety awareness
Getting the right experience and knowledge could significantly reduce the risk of serious hazards associated with working at heights.
If you would like to find out more information, contact our team today to find out more.