|Day 3. 27 October 2021 |
A few things to consider for safety at height.
- Work at ground level where possible: Do the majority of work on the ground before you have to work at height.
- Beware of short jobs at height: Short jobs where you’re rushing are most likely to result in an accident. Take a minute and plan it out.
- Provide, collective, passive protection: e.g. handrails that requires no input from workers; everyone is protected.
- If using a Mobile Elevating platform: make sure you are trained to do so.
- Ensure all scaffolding / platforms are erected by competent people: has the erector got the appropriate training?
- Don’t over load platforms: if you must load scaffolds, make sure you have a loading bay.
- Rain check: Are the weather conditions safe for working at height?
- When using PPE such as a harness:
- Make sure you are trained
- Make sure you are properly tied off
- Make sure you can be rescued if you fall
According to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), working at height is defined as: “work in any place, including a place at, above or below ground level, where a person could be injured if they fell from that place. Access and egress to a place of work can also be work at height”.
The key messaging from the HSA to ensure safe working at height is as follows:
- Carry out risk assessments for work at height activities and make sure that all work is planned, organised, and carried out by a competent person.
- Follow the ‘General Principles of Prevention’ for managing risks from work at height, taking steps to avoid, prevent or reduce risks.
- Chose appropriate work equipment and prioritise collective measures to prevent falls (such as guard rails and working platforms) before other measures which may only reduce the distance and consequences of a fall (such as nets or airbags) or may only provide fall-arrest through personal protection equipment.
Check out this short Tool Box Talk and this YouTube video on working safely at height.