When analysing the hazards associated with working at height, it becomes clear that these incidents often occur from a lack of training, misuse of equipment or faulty apparatus.
To ensure the safety of yourself and your colleagues, working at height hazards must be minimised, especially in the construction industry which accounts for 40% of all fall-related fatalities.
Below, we’ll tackle the hazards associated with working at height and list off working at height hazard examples so that the next time you or someone you know is up high, risks are minimised, and prevention measures are well and truly set in place.
According to the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Cth), safety measures and fall protection equipment are required when there is a risk of a fall of at least two metres. To determine what safety measures are needed and what working at height hazards are present, it would be sensible to have a height safety engineer perform an extensive inspection of the job site.
Is working at height a hazard itself? Yes – where possible, working from the ground is always the safest option. Designers should look for alternatives to working at heights when designing the project. If working at heights is needed, first create a ‘work at height hazards list’. Some working at height hazard examples include:
Ladders must be set up correctly and be of the right height, standard, size and condition to prevent movement and secure the worker. Users should follow the manufacturer’s instructions as an initial guidance. Avoid over-reaching due to incorrect size or position. Workers must refrain from carrying heavy objects up ladders or avoid use if the ladder is slippery due to rain or ice. The ladder should slightly reach over the landing point to assist arrival.
When conducting job hazard analysis for working at height, protective equipment and measures in place must first be checked to ensure they are working correctly. Working at heights equipment can degrade over time and thus, it is not certain that safety equipment will always be of a functional state. Priority should be given to fall prevention systems, including guardrails and carabiners. Individuals should make sure that they use shock-absorbing lanyards and safety harnesses for suitable personal protection.
To determine what systems need to be installed, the ‘hierarchy of control’ procedure should be followed. It is recommended to use the highest order of control where possible.
Newcastle Safety Servicing provide leading working at heights equipment inspection, ensuring that risk preventative measures are in place and that specific hazards associated with working at height are identified.
Whilst there are plenty of hazards associated with working at height, it is perhaps most important to ensure that those working on the job site have the required knowledge, skills and familiarity with operating equipment and conducting their work at heights safely.
On the job training is permitted, so long as trainees are under direct supervision from an experienced operator.
It is possible to fall through roofing or scaffolding that has been placed but is not entirely secured. This is a common way people injure themselves. Thorough checks of the worksite throughout the duration of the job should be conducted to ensure safety.
Whilst we can minimise the number of hazards associated with working at height, there is always a certain degree of risk. After the job hazard analysis for working at height has been conducted, measures should be taken to minimize said risk. Taking all or some of the below measures will ensure that the hazards associated with working at height are less prominent:
The work at height hazards list is substantial; however, it is possible to substantially minimise risk by applying preventative measures, following safety guides and conducting regular inspections of equipment and job site.
If you have any questions about the right equipment for you or wish to have working at heights inspection, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us now. Newcastle Safety Servicing has an extensive range of products online that will assist when working at heights.