The Inherent Dangers of Working at Heights
Guest post by Keith Brown
Work cannot always take place at ground level. This is especially true in the construction industry where workers are forced to work at various elevations above ground level. The higher they work, the more dangerous it becomes. In these unique working environments, new concerns arise regarding the safety and security of all the workers. This is because; the likelihood of an accident happening here is much more probable than most other work settings. Fortunately, all accidents can be avoided as long as the necessary precautions are taken to keep workers safe. When it comes to working at heights, investing in worker safety is absolutely mandatory. There are various places where real danger lurks and the best way of avoiding expensive time consuming litigation is to pre-empt them well before a very avoidable accident takes place.
· Head protection – falls are the most likely accidents that can happen at high places. When someone falls, they would most likely land on their head. This can be very fatal and can lead to loss of life and limb. Workers at heights need to be provided with sturdy head protection that shall shield their heads in case a fall was to happen.
· Body protection – when workers are carrying out their work, they need to feel not only comfortable but completely at ease in their work surroundings. The only way to feel safe and work well it to tether the midriff of the body to a safety harness that has been secured to the building. A safety harness is an excellent way to break a fall, if it were to happen. This also gives many workers the peace of mind to produce high quality work without constantly fearing for their lives.
· Walking protection – as in many other working environments, designated walkways must be laid out for all workers to use. These walkways can be identified by their unique and bright coloring and should be provided for all areas where workers need to access. Designated walkways ensure that workers only venture into authorized places that are safe and also hold their full weight before, during and after work. They also provide easy access to and from their work stations.
· Roof protection – this involves roof fasteners placed at particular places on buildings where workers need to work suspended from the ground. Roof fasteners are usually placed along the strong beams of the building to allow workers freedom of movement and they work together with safety harnesses.
· Hand protection – these are ideal in stairwells and other pathways where people are likely to use especially in high places. Hand holds are ideal in ensuring that people feel safe when walking and also breaking any falls that may occur.
Providing safety equipment is not enough, workers must be trained to use it at all times when working at heights.
Keith Brown is an occupational health and height safety auditor working within the building industry. His main job is carrying out risk assessments and recommending the correct safety equipment to use to ensure that there are zero accidents at the workplace.