Working at considerable heights, as a construction worker, comes with its own set of employee hazards – especially if certain height safety tips aren’t implemented as they should. Thus, with dozens of injuries occurring on a daily basis, forming part of one of the largest causes of workplace accidents, it’s important to ensure that certain work at height safety tips are implemented in order to receive peace of mind on site whilst employees are hard at work maintaining deadlines and delivering quality craftsmanship.
1. Conduct a risk assessment.
Prevention is better than trying to find a cure, in which case, it’s absolutely necessary (if not required by law in some instances) to conduct a thorough risk assessment of any possible trips and falls, hazards related to chemicals being used, as well as possible special precautions which need to be taken in order to keep the public safe. Record your findings and figure out how to reduce any of the risks mentioned-above in order to create a safer work environment.
2. Locate access routes.
When working at heights, it’s crucial to assess any access routes in order to prevent unnecessary accidents – planning out safe routes in order to conduct the work necessary to complete the job. Employees need to be able to move easily between certain points on the construction site without having to work at considerable heights if at all possible.
3. Inspect height safety equipment.
Of course, as any construction worker would know, you have to inspect your height safety equipment such as your construction safety harness prior to use as well as after the end of a long shift – ensuring that each element is in proper working condition according to the manufacturer’s standards. If not, you may find yourself in a tricky situation at a considerable height, putting your own life in danger as well as the lives of those who need to come to your rescue.
4. Implement the use of handrails.
Where possible, why not implement the use of handrails – ensuring that employees stay in between the rails for increased safety. Protective rails can easily be built by onsite carpenters. Made to be a permanent fixture or a portable add-on depending on your needs. As a quick and easy fix, it’s one of the best ways to eliminate safety hazards at a construction site.
5. Keep the fall distance in mind.
This may seem quite obvious, but that doesn’t mean that many contractors fail to keep the fall distance in mind when using fall protection equipment. According to Simplified Safety, “Your actual fall distance needs to not only include the length of your lanyard when deployed, but also your body length below the D-ring and any sag in your harness and anchor system. Count on a good 18.5’ minimum before you’re able to use a 6’ lanyard with deceleration device.”
6. Choose the correct platform.
In order to be able to work at considerable heights, you’re going to need some form of construction platform to work on. Whether you choose scaffolding, a ladder, or a lift, it’s important to evaluate the situation carefully before jumping to any decisions. Once you’ve made up your mind, add proper height safety measures such as rails or height safety equipment for increased safety.
7. Always opt for anchor points.
Having to support the weight of the worker as well as 5000 lbs. per person attached, your anchor point would have to be stronger than a simple PVC pipe in order to keep you where you need to be. Thus, adding a reliable anchor point to keep workers safe will only add to your peace of mind and ensure the sanity of those working at considerable heights.
When evaluating certain safety hazards in a construction site, it’s important to ensure the safety of your employees by figuring out how to improve the work environment for increased productivity without compromising the safety of those your employ. At the end of the day, safety comes first – ensuring peace of mind whilst protecting your assets in the event of an accidental fall or injury on site.