10 Safety Tips for Working at Height
Depending on your job description, you may be asked to work at height on a regular basis. Too often these small jobs aren't taken seriously, people fail to tie off properly and end up with injuries. It's important that - if you're working at any height over 3 meters - you take necessary precautions. Here are 10 important safety tips for any worker or workplace that requires elevated jobs.
Note: Safety is key when working at heights. Check out our Safety Training Courses to ensure you're always prepared and educated on the job site.
1. Identify All Jobs That Are Done at Height
It's important that the workplace is prepared for any and all jobs done at height. The first step to this is ensuring that all jobs above 3 meters are properly identified and all workers are made aware of the inherent dangers of doing those jobs.
2. Job Assessment
Every job should include a detailed assessment of what dangers could be involved. This includes dangers for the worker who is at height, and any workers who may be below him or her and could be in danger of falling debris.
3. Avoid Height Wherever Possible
If a job can be moved to ground level, do so. If it means that the worker will spend less time in a precarious situation, it's best to take the necessary precautions and move the materials to a safe height, do the work, and then return them as a last step in the process.
4. Use The Right Tools
If you're using a ladder to reach the job height, ensure that it is the proper height and meets the specifications needed for the job. Ensure that all tie straps and harnesses have been properly assessed and are free from any frays, knots or other weakening factors.
5. Discuss Control Measures
Every employee who is required to work at height should be fully aware of any dangers associated with the job, and also what steps need to be taken in the event of an accident. If there is a high risk of liquid dripping from overhead, the worker should know where the eye was stations are. The worker should also be aware of emergency protocol in the event of a serious injury.
6. Apply Control Measures
Each measure should be tested before starting the job, and then carried out each and every time the job is completed. If the worker is required to have supervision, he or she should know that it's imperative that he finds a supervisor to watch over the job before starting to work on it.
7. Make Protocol Checklist & Job Assessment Easily Available
There is no point in writing up a job assessment and protocol checklist if it's not readily available to all workers. Every worker should know exactly where to find this documentation and how to fill it out where needed.
8. Periodic Re-evaluation of Risks
This step is imperative. There are times when jobs change, or regulations within the workplace change. It's important the that protocols and procedures change too. A re-evaluation of risks is imperative on all jobs at height. Every 3 - 6 months in generally a sufficient amount of time.
9. Staff Meetings & Information
Every staff member should be aware of the initial risks, and any time that there has been a reevaluation of risks. This can be done with paper hand-outs, but the best way is to call a staff meeting and make sure that everyone is aware of any changes.
10. Check & Re-Check Work Tools & Safety Materials
Similar to re-assessing job risks, it's important to periodically check the equipment to ensure that it is still up to safety standards. Scheduled equipment checks should be done on a regular basis. While it is important that workers check the equipment before using it, it's equally important that a workplace is free from any equipment that may be dangerous to use.
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