Working from height relates to any workplace activity that is above ground or below another person or group of people that could be injured if health and safety precautions are not taken. Working safely when it comes to heights isn’t something that just comes with the job, it takes a lot of learning, preparation and determination. And, whether you work at height on a regular basis or once in a while, safety should always remain as your utmost priority. It only takes one little mistake that could turn a day-to-day task into a potentially fatal accident. If you yourself work at height or manage a team that does you should always have health and safety at the forefront of everything that you do in order to prevent any accidents from occurring. And, it is always good practice to attend bespoke health and safety courses that are tailored to your workplace operations in order to keep your knowledge up-to-date. In the meantime, here are our essential tips that you should exercise when it comes to working at height.
Plan Each Task Out Carefully
Before working from height, the single most important thing you can do to prevent any accidents from taking place is by carefully planning the task in hand. Planning will allow you to think about just how the task can be safely completed, together with assessing risk and how an accident will be managed if one was to take place.
Always Focus on The Environment
When you are working at a height, it is essential to focus on your environment and the surrounding areas. This includes making sure that the tools and equipment you are using are fully safe and secure when in use and when not in use. By doing so means you can also identify who is at risk from using these said tools and equipment and put measures in place to reduce any risks and potential accidents from taking place.
Use the Right Personal Protective Equipment
We all know that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should only ever be used when as a last resort. But, when it comes to working from height, it is used regularly to protect workers. Before carrying out a task at height, it is crucial to make sure that you have the correct personal protective equipment in place in order to carry out the task safely.
Use Guard Rails
When you are able to, use guard rails when working from height. Having a secure guard rail might not seem like much, but can actually mean a matter of life or death when it comes to accidents. Guard rails can be affixed to meet a task’s requirements and are easily portable making them a simple, but highly effective health and safety solution when working at heights.
Make Sure That You Understand Fall Distance
This might seem like common sense but understanding your fall distance when working from a height is extremely important. This is also vital when determining what personal protective equipment you need in order to safely carry out tasks from a height. Think about it, if you are working from a high level such as 100ft or more, do you think that steel toecap boots are going to help you survive a fall?
Use Ladders Correctly
When it comes to using a ladder at work, don’t just presume that you know what you’re doing just because you have one or two at home. In fact, the best way to approach using a ladder in the workplace is by thinking that you have no idea what you are doing. This way it will help you go towards the task with a fresh perspective with workplace safety in mind, and without any shortcuts that you would you take if you were using a ladder at home.
The Dos and Don’ts When Working From Heights
To conclude this short but insightful article, let us leave you from some dos and don’ts when it comes to working from heights.
- Do as much of the work as you can while on solid ground.
- Exercise extra caution when working near delicate surfaces.
- Make sure the equipment you are using is strong and stable.
- Ensure you are safe from the threat of falling objects.
- Always makes sure that there are emergency procedures in place.
- Don’t overload ladders.
- Never allow incompetent employees to work from heights.
- Never place a ladder on a fragile surface.
- Don’t stay quiet if you think there is a risk that hasn’t been identified.
- Don’t reach too far when you are on a ladder as this could result in the ladder becoming unsteady.