Being in charge of a company comes with various responsibilities. However, if you’re in charge of a company that performs work at height, there are additional actions you need to take in order to keep your workers safe and protected, seeing as how working at height is a type of job that comes with high risks of not only injury but death as well. With that in mind, no matter if you run a construction, mining, or oil company, own a window-cleaning business, or work near fragile materials, it’s important to keep the following tips in mind to prevent falls from a height.
Assess the potential risks
First of all, before you start any work at height, it’s vital to assess the risk. Every project needs its own plan as no two spaces are the same, regardless of how similar they might appear. Have your experts examine the space and identify potential hazards. For example, various structures that are being installed, demolished, repaired, or cleaned need to be assessed to see how safe they are. Furthermore, you need to assess skylight, metal roofs, and other potentially unstable, sloping, or slippery surfaces. Open edges that have no protection as well as pits and holes need to be inspected as well. You also have to include the number of workers in your calculations as well as how much light you’re working with. Once a risk is identified, you should work on eliminating it.
Select and use protection equipment correctly
There are various ways how you can eliminate hazards when working at height. For example, you want to install railings, platforms, and scaffolding wherever possible. These are a form of passive protection that can keep employees safe from falls. There are various types to choose from. Then, all workers that find themselves at height need to have the right PPE, which is in this industry usually called PFAS – a personal fall arrest system. That means that, in addition to gloves, goggles, and hard hats, workers will need harnesses and lanyards as well as some specific gear that the situation might require. It’s vital that the gear is suited to every worker for it to work properly.
Find the right anchor points
Something else that is vital in order for your fall arrest systems to work is choosing the right anchor point. Finding adequate anchor points is a task that your experts need to be well trained for. As there are different types of height safety anchor points, it’s vital to use the one that is best for the situation you are faced with. For starters, everyone in your employ needs to know that attaching themselves to a PVC pipe is unacceptable. When you attach yourself to an anchor point, you need to know for certain that it can support a load of 5,000 pounds. Although many buildings come with pre-installed anchor points, if your engineers cannot examine it properly and know whether it can handle the expected load, it’s best to add your own.
Provide workers at height with proper training
Another crucial aspect that cannot be overlooked when working at height is proper education and preparation. Each and every employee that will be working at height needs to undergo training that will show them exactly how to assess anchor points, how to put on the necessary fall arrest equipment, and so much more. Furthermore, you also need to have an emergency protocol in place that everyone should know. It should be activated as soon as something unexpected occurs that might put your workers in danger. Work on it and train according to various scenarios to never be caught off-guard.
Regularly inspect equipment
Just like you need to regularly train your employees on how to assess risks and use necessary equipment, it’s also required to perform inspections. The gear you will use needs to be checked on a regular basis in order to notice any issues on time, and not only when you’re already using it. What is more, you should also go over your emergency protocols and update them to ensure everyone’s safety.
If you run a business that handles work at height, it’s vital that you ensure your workers are safe at all moments. Implement these tips in order to prevent falls and injuries.