Working at heights means working in any place where you can fall at a distance high enough to cause serious or fatal injury. Areas in this definition include roofs, ladders, scaffolds, pits and many others.
Falling from heights remains one of the most common causes of work-related injuries and fatalities in Australia. In 2015, 26 out of 195 total reported fatal injuries were due to falls from a height, making it the third leading cause of worker fatalities in the country.
Working at heights is obviously dangerous, especially if proper safety measures are not taken. Consider these safety tips if your job involves working above ground level.
1. Plan ahead
This is the first step to ensuring the safety of your co-workers, yourself, and anyone else who might be in the area. Here are some precautions you can take when planning:
Examine every potential risk and assess how those risks can be eliminated.
Check the weather forecast for the day or days that you’ll be working so you’re ready for any adverse conditions.
Determine all possible hazards (holes in the floor, exposed wires, unstable flooring, fragile roofing, etc.).
Determine if the people below you might be hit by falling objects so it can be avoided.
Make sure you have all the safety equipment that you need and have backups ready if possible.
Make a checklist, and stick with it to the letter.
There is no substitute for proper planning. It will keep you safe, make doing your job easier and also shorten your working time.
2. Prepare yourself
It is of utmost importance that you get a good night’s rest if you’re about to work at a height. Staying up late before working at heights is never a good idea. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep.
You should also eat a full meal and stay hydrated so that you’re alert and at your full mental and physical capacity. It’s also advisable to stay in good physical shape to ensure that you can handle the rigors of working at heights.
3. Get high-quality and durable safety gear
Keep in mind that the cheapest option is not necessarily the best. You should never let frugality determine your decisions when looking for safety equipment. Your life is worth far more than just a few dollars in savings.
Get the best tools that your money can buy. Equip yourself with high-quality equipment such as safety hard hats, harnesses, and safety glasses. They may seem expensive, but they will save your life.
4. Use a buddy system
When working at heights, you and your co-workers need to watch out for each other. Never work alone, even if you think you can. Always have at least one person to look after you in situations like climbing up a ladder or any other elevated structure, working close to an edge where there’s a high risk of falling, and basically any other instance that could result to injury.
Having a partner is absolutely necessary because it lessens your risks of injury. Furthermore, if something does happen, your partner would be there to call for help.
Hunter Industrial Supplies offers protective gear such as safety hard hats to protect you while working at heights. Our safety hard hats are made from the highest quality materials available and provide exceptional protection at affordable prices.