Whether you work at heights every day or just every now and then, your focus on safety during those times is vital. It only takes one mistake to turn a routine work task into a fatality. Ensuring that you are taking the correct precautions can significantly reduce and even eliminate these risks. You must be prepared to protect your employees each and every time they could be exposed.
Here are our top ten tips on working at height.
Where possible, use rails.These can be permanently affixed or portable to suit your needs. Once these are in place, rails are certainly the easiest fall protection system you can use. We refer to this as a passive protection method which means that there is nothing that the user has to do to protect themselves other than stay within the rails.
2. Use the correct Personal Protective Equipment
Do your research and decide what it is you need. All full-body harnesses that meet ANSI standards will perform to the same standard. A difference in price may indicate additional/fewer functional features such as extra D-rings, fireproof material, or arc-safe design. Sometimes, paying a little extra will just give you a little extra comfort. Whilst this may not be your main concern, it is worth considering to help you get full cooperation from your workforce. It is important also that all users know how to properly adjust their harnesses so they fit correctly.
3. Regularly check all equipment
It is just as important that your workforce all use the correct equipment as it is that it is regularly checked. Checks should take place prior to every use. It is important however that it is being checked by a competent person with the correct knowledge to recognise a potential hazard and who also has the authority to correct it. The inspection should be thorough, but does not need to take a lot of time.
4. Ensure You Understand Fall Distance
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. You will therefore need to add 3.5’ of distance to account for the deployment of your deceleration device. Already that means the lanyard itself is 9.5’ long. Count on a good 18.5’ minimum before you’re able to use a 6’ lanyard with deceleration device.