Working at a height continues to be the leading cause of death and serious injuries in any workplace. Falls from rooftops, ladders and weak surfaces are common occurrences when working at heights. A “working safely at heights” course is then required to be taken up by any individual whose job has certain risks like falling a significant distance, sustaining personal damage, and so on.
But What is Working at a Height?
It is essential to work in any place that can risk an individual’s safety due to falling from a distance that is liable to cause personal injury. If you are working above the ground/floor level, you face the risk of falling from an edge, through an opening, through a fragile surface, or from the ground level into an opening or a hole, then you are working at a height.
Working at heights, however, does not include slipping or tripping on the level. A fall from working at a height means falling from one level to another. It also does not include utilising a built staircase in a building.
To work safely at heights, it is important to ensure that the work for the day is planned correctly, overseen, and completed by competent individuals who possess the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience. Many of these skills and knowledge can be gained through a “working safely at heights” course.
The following are just a few of the things each employee and employer must keep in check to work safely at heights:
1. Use or Install Railings
The best way to keep yourself safe is to use the support of railings whenever possible. Railings are a type of passive protection. They are the simplest and most recommended techniques to keep you or your employees safe while also meeting any legal requirements.
Almost every type of rooftop or high-level workplace has a railing system. This is because rails are the easiest fall protection solution to utilise once in place, regardless of the type of rails you employ.
2. Use Proper Workplace Equipment
You must assess what the required equipment is for each workplace scenario. In some cases, working at heights will require the use of scaffolding. And again, installing rails on the scaffolding is very important.
However, scaffolds aren’t always the right equipment, and some scenarios require you to rely on a lift. You may or may not need to wear a harness and lanyard, depending on the type of lift that you use. At other times you’ll be using a ladder, in which case the fall protection needs to be more intricate.
The bottom line is that you need to study your work plan and see what equipment you can use while minimising the risk as much as possible.
3. Use the Right Personal Protective Equipment
You must do your research and figure out what you truly require in your workplace. Because each circumstance is unique, you must assess your working environment and the task at hand to provide yourself with something that will genuinely safeguard you from any risks.
Get All the Training You Can
This cannot be stressed enough. If you wish to work safely at heights, then training is of the utmost importance. A “working safely at heights” course should be your number one priority before you take up any job that requires you to work at heights. Not only is it required by law, but there is just a lot of room for error when it comes to trying to protect yourself when working at a height without the proper skills and expertise.