Avoid 4 Common Fall Hazards Working At Height
Whether you work at height every day or only occasionally, working safely should always be the top priority. It takes just a single fault to turn a routine task into a major injury or disaster. You must be equipped to defend your employees every time they could be exposed to fall risk.
Some common mistakes working at heights involve excess reaching, excess balancing, or the failure of a weak surface. Falls from height can also be because of unguarded holes in floors such as hatchways, inspection pits, and pits, and from falls into process tanks and tools. Other significant hazards linked with working at height include falling objects and the potential for an acting platform to crash or topple, as well as contact with overhead electrical wires.
Employers must perceive the need for rope access before allowing workers onboard. The exact height at which employers must work differs from work to work. If the provisions do not fall to place, any workers could get hurt. It should be remembered that height safety and worker training are the foundations that build up working at height.
We have come up with the four common fall hazards that are often ignored while working at heights.
Faulty Roof Access
Working at heights effectively starts when one approaches the roof, where work has to be done. And it is brought about via an external fixed ladder, or via a roof hatch. But these means of access provide a fall hazard of their own, both when entering the roof, and when leaving the roof surface.
If there are no barriers, workers can fall anytime. The following are the most important elements in roof access that need our concern because, without a proper fall arrest system, every single plan can fall apart.
1. Roof Stability:
Is the roof strong enough to uphold the load of an individual? Are the trusses intact? Will the roof bow on a hot day? Check the underlayment before progressing onto the roof.
2. Ladder Security & Placement:
Is the ladder secure and at the perfect angle? Are the feet secure? Is the lead above the roofline and fixed securely? Several fatalities occur each year because of a badly placed ladder. Always supervise your ladder and the section around your ladder prior to work.
Ice, snow, and wind are invariably a threat on a roof if the standards or other surfaces are slippery. Membrane roofs are especially slippery in wet conditions and should be shunned during these times.
Roof Holes: Unguarded skylights and inadequately covered pits. Without fall protection, an open hole in a roof can be just as deadly as the roof edge.
Therefore, proper height safety inspection must be followed before starting operations.
Any edge that is exposed while work at height is executed poses a risk. This refers not only to roof edges but also to edges of raised work platforms, loading docks, galleries, etc. Fall hazards exist at each of these points and thus safety methods are obligatory before setting foot. A fall protection system will ensure lives and prevent ambiguities.
Guardrails and safety gates are the best ways to get insurance from these edges, but there are conditions where a guardrail would stop the work, for case, on a loading dock. In such cases, other defensive measures need to be taken to provide worker safety. A risk appraisal and aid from a fall protection expert team will help resolve what solution best befits the position.
Having a reliable workspace inculcates work confidence among workers and scales production.
Every year, there are over 50,000 workers or civilians affected by falling objects. Falling objects put at risk employees’ lives, production, and everything work-related. Not only heavy objects that can maim or kill someone, but an object weighing only two pounds dropped from an elevation of 30 feet could also lead to serious damage to someone wearing a strong hat.
Before workers set to work, the sites must receive height safety certification. It’s vital for safety codes to avoid falling tools from hurting anyone or causing harm.
The focus should always be on preventing the fall, not on using nets to arrest the objects once they collapse. These should be only be used as a secondary safety strategy. Changing engineering controls, employing the right rope access technician, and catering employees with behavioural safety training could considerably curtail the number of deaths, injuries, and casualties generated by falling objects.
Skylights are never taken seriously, as hazards are concerned. Most skylights are not created to be structural and when workers lean on them, mishaps occur. Most fall protection regulations see them as cracks in the floor, and fall protection measures need to be taken.
Proper height safety installation methods, such as placing guardrails around a skylight, or by using a lifeline system or anchorage point with a harness and a lanyard, can prevent slips.
In the end, a skylight is a fall hazard that holds the lives of workers each year. Determine the appropriate safety and install it before further conservation work is done on your roof.
As a construction company, establish a safety plan to act around skylights just as you would for fall protection in any other stage of your project. Many rooftop hazards threaten the lives of those visiting the roof for work.
As we’ve covered the major hazards when working at heights, we must not forget the other points like faulty equipment, no personal protective kits at work, and so on. None of these can be overlooked.
With more Australian safety services taking charge of employers’ responsibilities, it is becoming easier to cope up with industry laws and guarantee worker lives who put their lives at risk to fulfill their jobs.
Regardless of which method of the fall prevention or fall protection the employer determines will work best for their company’s needs, we want to make sure they’re thinking about safety at all times and understand the benefits and consequences for not working safely.