Working at height are work activities above 1.8 meters or below the ground level. It’s a task where there is a possibility of a fall if the necessary precautions are not in place. Working at height constitutes an accident on a worksite. More reasons we need to practise working at height safety on our site.
Working at height poses a hazard such as
- Falling objects from height.
- Fall of persons and tools.
- The collapse of the platform.
- Unsafe ladder at the use.
- Absence of edge protection or poorly done edge protection
- Poorly erected scaffold
- Absence of fall protective measures.
Working at height safety: What can we do to promote working at height safety today?
- Plan all work and supervise them by competent persons.
- Competent persons must do work at height jobs. Competency means having the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and attitude on the Job.
- Assess all work risks before each task and then put them under control.
- Try working from a ground level since working at height poses more harm.
- If possible, minimize the distance of the work to the ground.
- Ensure proper communication during work through words, signages, signals, and radio.
- Encourage safe access to all work areas.
- Inspect all work equipment and do not use damaged or defective equipment.
- When using the ladders, avoid overloading them.
- Precautions are needed when working on a fragile surface.
- Do not rest a ladder on a weak surface. The ladder may topple from this action.
- Always use ladders for light-duty jobs. Jobs that don’t take more than 30 minutes. If you’re going to do a heavy-duty job, use other means such as a scaffold or mobile elevated work platform.
- Ensure that all scaffold is inspected and tagged for use by competent persons before usage.
- Report all unsafe practices to your supervisor for immediate action.
- Wear your full-body harness and ensure you anchor it at the right place while working at a height.
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Onyeka Emma is a QHSE Professional, a business person, and an entrepreneur. He is very passionate about health and safety, Business and Entrepreneurship.