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Caring For Your Height Safety Equipment – 10 tips you need to know

When it comes to protecting your workmen/employees on site, it’s important to follow important height safety equipment care instructions in order to ensure the quality and maintenance of such equipment over a period of time. If not, you may end up having to replace your height safety equipment much faster than anticipated – possibly putting your employee’s lives in danger for not properly caring for the equipment that keeps them out of harm’s way. Remember, in order to prevent injuries on the job which involve height safety equipment and possible work accident claims, it’s highly advisable to keep all equipment in quality condition.

Thus, in order to save money over an extended period of time and keep your height safety equipment in top notch condition, it’s important to implement the following height safety equipment care instructions in mind:

1. Avoid contact with chemicals.

It’s important when storing height safety equipment, to keep your safety harnesses and webbing products away from petroleum products or solvents – ensuring that your safety equipment remains in a safe storage place away from chemical products which could cause damage long term. This will result in having to replace the height safety equipment before the necessary time period and could put your employees in danger – not to mention the added risk of work accident claims due to failing to follow important safety requirement on site.

2. Dry harnesses before storing.

When storing height safety equipment, you have to ensure to follow height safety equipment care instructions by drying your safety equipment in a protected area away from chemicals in order to ensure safe drying – preventing damage and additional costs having to replace height safety equipment. Also, allow height safety equipment to dry in a natural means instead of placing them in a heated environment which could damage the materials.

3. Keep equipment in clean, dry areas.

Be sure to keep your safety harnesses and other height safety equipment in well-ventilated, dry areas away from chemical products which may harm them. Remember, after figuring out how to wash your safety harness, it’s just as important to keep the drying process and aftercare instructions in mind – ensuring that you keep them away from direct heat, fumes, direct sunlight, and corrosive products for a prolonged lifespan. If not, you could end up spending more money purchasing new height safety equipment when all you needed to do was properly take care of your equipment.

4. Use a damp sponge.

As an employee working on construction sites, you’re bound to get your safety harness and other related height safety equipment dirty. Thus, in order to get rid of excess sand, dirt, and debris, it’s advisable to use a damp sponge to wipe away such dirt if it’s not necessary to thoroughly wash your height safety equipment quite yet.

5. Implement a pH balanced detergent.

Depending on the manufacturer’s care instructions, it’s advisable to implement a pH balanced detergent over bleach, chlorine or harsh abrasives which may damage the fabric straps. Thus, instead of taking the risk to wash your safety harness or webbing with normal detergent containing bleach, instead choose a pH balanced washing powder or detergent.

6. Prevent unauthorized access.

When storing your height safety equipment, it’s important to prevent unauthorized access to anyone who may want to tamper with the equipment. Thus, for safety reasons, after washing your safety equipment, it’s best to allow your safety harnesses to dry in a well-ventilated locked space away from prying fingers.

7. Store below 50 degrees Celsius.

As much as you’d like to dry your safety equipment as quickly as possible, it’s absolutely necessary to store any safety harnesses in a dry area with temperatures below 50 degrees Celsius – preventing damage to the equipment and avoiding a potential safety risk. Such high temperatures may affect the performance of the safety equipment.

8. Keep metal equipment separate.

In order to avoid metal pieces on your height safety equipment from rubbing together in storage, it’s highly recommended to keep your height safety equipment containing metal pieces separate from one another. This will prevent the metal pieces from experience damage which may compromise the performance of the equipment and overall safety of your employees. Remember, preserving your height safety equipment requires paying attention to the small details which most may overlook.

9. Avoid placing equipment in clothes dryer.

As tempting as it may be clean and dry your safety harnesses or webbing products as quickly as possible, it’s absolutely advised against placing your height safety equipment in the clothes dryer with the rest of your clothing. The high temperatures could damage the actual fabric which may place the life of the user in danger at considerable heights – especially if the safety equipment is dried in a dryer over an extended period of time. Instead, allow your safety equipment to dry in its own time in natural circumstances away from direct sunlight or heat.

10. Return to the manufacturer for repairs.

If you do find that there’s something wrong with your height safety equipment such as a minor tear or you’re in need of a few alterations, it’s best to send the equipment back to the manufacturer instead of trying to fix or alter the equipment yourself. Not only may you find yourself in a tricky situation where you’re doing it all wrong, you’re putting your own life in danger for a quick fix. Remember, special techniques and materials are used to construct your height safety equipment. Using anything less than the recommended materials to alter or fix your safety harnesses will be a big mistake.

Ensuring that your height safety equipment remains in a quality condition for safety purposes should be of the utmost importance – keeping your employees safe at all times and your height safety equipment maintained and cared for. Remember, safety comes first – especially when you’re responsible for employees working at considerable heights.

 

Why Safety Checklist Save Lives?

If you’re in an industry where safety is an important concern, a safety checklist becomes a must. However, it’s something that can literally save lives when it comes to the construction industry.

Construction jobs tend to be very dangerous in nature to say the least. There are many hazards at a construction site that can very well lead to a disaster, and are hence best avoided.

It’s the contractor’s job to make sure potential risk factors are averted and a safe working environment is maintained, both before starting as well as during the work.

Importance of a Safety Checklist

A safety checklist can go a long way in improving the level of safety at the worksite, as well as reducing the chances of potential accidents. Ideally, the contractor should come up with one before even starting the work, in order to make sure they don’t miss identifying any of the potential risks.

This especially includes the risks that they may already be aware of, those that are believed to be common factors leading to accidents at other construction sites. Furthermore, a safety checklist can also be a great way to make sure that you, as a contractor, are complying with Work Health and Safety Regulations.

Let’s take a quick look at just some of the many important reasons why a safety checklist is an absolute must.

Risk Minimization

We have already talked about this above so we won’t go into details here. However, if you have been in the construction industry from even a short time, you definitely know the threats everyone working at a construction site is faced with.

The use of equipment such as cranes, saws and many other similar ones turns out to be a cause of many potential risks. A good safety checklist can help avoid these risks to a great extent, given that it’s ensured everyone follows it on a daily basis.

Reduced Costs

While it’s definitely not the primary reason to have a safety checklist, having one does reduce the overall costs of the project quite a bit. As accidents are very common at construction sites, it also means spending a heavy amount just on the recovery of workers as well as the damaged caused to the worksite. On top of that, the potential delays on the project that may result from a severe injury can also be harmful for your budget.

Lower Insurance Costs

This is kind of a hidden benefit of having safety checklists. While it may not seem a direct benefit, construction companies with a very good safety track record can get considerably lower insurance costs than others without an impressive safety track record. That undoubtedly is a vital parameter that you want to take into consideration when you are in charge of a construction project.

Fewer Legal  Disputes

As a continuation of the previous point, a solid safety checklist can save you from a lot of trouble when it comes to construction disputes. Having a detailed list with the various significant safety parameters ensures there will be no unpredicted disagreements over safety issues. Furthermore, in that manner you can be sure that you have done your best for the safety of your team. This is something indispensable for anyone who is working in construction and can be appreciated by those who work with you.

And a Couple of Challenges

When it comes to safety checklists, there is no doubt that project managers should be all for it. Nevertheless, there are a few challenges that have to be taken into account while building your checklist. We have listed the most crucial of them below:

Paperwork

Paperwork can be a serious pain when we are talking about safety checklist. There are so many different aspects that have to be considered and eventually covered in written form. This can take a lot of time and undermine the progress of your project.

Predict Everything  

From a theoretical point of view, keeping track of every single dangerous that may pop up on site is more than necessary. However, this always isn’t easy. There are simply too many different parameters that should be taken into account. Especially when we are talking about a new type of project in an unfamiliar area.

Convince People To Be Careful

By now, let’s suppose that you have managed to overcome the aforementioned obstacles. Here is the last and probably higher. Making your team actually taking the safety checklist seriously can be harder than you think. There are many workers, especially the more experienced ones, who develop through the years an illusion of full safety due to their great experience. In cases like that, it can take great effort to convince your team that regardless of their skills and knowledge they have always to take safety measures very seriously.

Things to Include

You should ideally not only come up with as many things as possible in your safety checklist even before you start the work, but also keep adding to it as you come across newer threats. It’s an ongoing procedure and it can always become better on the way. That being said, here are some of the common and essential things to be included:

  • Site inspections to look out for small structures that weren’t a part of your plan, and other similar things that may need your attention.
  • Making the employees aware of the potential hazards and risks before starting the work, so that they can avoid them if the situation arises.
  • Placing a fence around the site in order to keep the outsiders from entering the site without permission, and exposing themselves to the risks they may not be aware of.
  • Providing all the workers with the required protective equipment as well as making sure it’s being used by them properly.
  • Making sure first aid facilities are always available at the site.
  • Placing construction signs around the site to make the public aware of the hazards and risks they may be exposed to if come in close proximity of the site.

Conclusion

It’s evident that safety checklists have tremendous importance for every construction project. Putting them together can tough and it requires a lot of attention and experience. There surely is a learning curve in the whole process and that is why you have to invest a lot of time in inspecting the construction site and in talking openly with your team about the daily dangers that it may face. In that way, you can be confident that you did your best in creating a safety checklist that save lives.

About the author:

Anastasios Koutsogiannis is working as marketing coordinator in GenieBelt, a construction management and mobile tool.