Safe Working at Heights
Falling from heights is one of the most common causes of death
on construction sites, but in any type of business, working at height
is a high risk activity.
Any work or movement at height near an exposed edge should be considered
a hazard and this includes work above or below ground. In order
to safeguard your workforce and minimise the risk to those exposed
to working at heights the following guidelines should be followed:
- Carry out a risk assessment
- Establish a suitable control method
If you must use a fall arrest or fall restraint system then the
following points should be considered.
- Never build your own fall arrest system
- Choose the correct type of anchorage point or restraint system
- Will it take the dynamic loads generated in a fall?
Are there any dangerous obstacles which a person could hit or
- Choose the correct type of equipment
- Check the equipment prior to use for damage
If in doubt seek expert advice or replace it
- Train personnel in the correct use of equipment and the procedures
that should be followed
- Put in place emergency proceedures
If you are unsure about anything, dont guess, seek expert
advice. You could save yourself a lot of money, time and heartache.
Note the following.
- If a harness and lanyard has been subjected to a fall, they
should be disposed of and replaced. The human eye cannot evaluate
the stresses that have been put on the equipment and next time
they may not work.
- Retractable fall arrest devices, anchorages and systems should
be inspected annually or following a fall by a suitably qualified
Reducing accidents in the work place is a sound management practice.
Not only does it make your workforce happier, but you will save
money through improved output and reduce the risk of fines and compensation