Important Things That Matters
Working at heights is one of the usual reasons for major injuries and fatalities in Australia and around the world. Falling through fragile areas and ladders are two of the most common causes of accidents. Proper precautions are advised to minimise untoward accidents. In this article, simple and practical measures will be discussed to reduce the risk of anything related to this type of work.
What do you need to do?
It is necessary that work is properly supervised, carried out and planned by competent and reliable people with the knowledge, experience and skills to perform the job. Working at height solutions should use the right equipment to ensure job security and safety.
The first things you need to assess when working on height are the risks. The frequency and duration, the condition of the area where work is being performed and the height of the task are three factors you need to weigh in when assessing.
Before you start working at height, you should start the simple steps below:
- Keep away from work at height solutions where it is rationally practicable to do so
- When working at height solutions cannot be avoided, make sure to prevent falls using the right type of equipment or an existing area of work that is currently safe
- Lessen the consequences of a fall and the distance, by utilising the right equipment and tools where risks are unavoidable
For every step, constantly consider measures that can prevent everyone from possible risks (collective protection) previous to measures that can only protect an individual (personal protection).
Personal protection is a tool or equipment that needs the individual to do something to be effective, like properly use of safety harness while collective protection, on the other hand, is the opposite, as the person does not need to do anything to make it work effectively, like temporary or permanent guardrails, tower scaffolds and scissor lifts.
Do’s and don’ts
Below are few of the do’s and don’ts when working at height solutions
- As much work from the ground
- Make sure equipment is stable, durable and suitable enough for the job
- Give protection from any falling objects
- Take safety measure when working on fragile areas
- Consider rescue procedures and emergency evacuation
- Overload ladders – take into consideration the materials or equipment workers are carrying before they work at height. Label the ladders for workers information
- Overreach on step ladders or ladders
- Rest the ladder on a weal upper area or surface, like plastic gutters
- Utilise step ladders or ladders for heavy or strenuous tasks, you are only limited to use them for light jobs of short duration (with maximum limit of 30-45 minutes at a time)
- Allow anyone not competent (those who does not have the knowledge, skills and experience to do the work)
Prevention is always better than cure, thus it is necessary that before working at height starts, safety measures should be considered first. The risk to face is highly risky up to fatality. Hiring services from professionals are highly recommended to ensure that work will be done rightfully. Do not take the risk of working on it yourself or hiring non-professionals just to cut cost, as that is definitely not a smart idea.