In Britain, the construction sector employs just 5 percent of the total workforce, but it has been found to be associated with 27 percent of fatal injuries, many of which have been the outcome of falls. However, it needs to be noted that construction workers are not susceptible to fall injuries alone with falls from ladders or through brittle roofs being observed as other common fall-injury incidents. The information provided by this article is intended to help you devise an appropriate working-at-height policy and fall protection strategy.
Firstly the most efficient and effective way to provide height safety is to invest in good quality Height Safety Equipment which will provide optimum safety at height when used in the intended ways, further to that I have the below recommendations and procedures that will ensure you take the necessary steps to comply fully with expectations.
The Working At Height Regulations 2005 apply to activities that are associated with a risk of fall injuries. An amendment made to the regulations in 2007 required people who had expertise in caving or climbing to lead and provide instructions to people who had to work at height. The team leaders or the duty holders need to ensure that all work at height is organised in an appropriate manner and carried out by competent individuals. They are also required to conduct risk assessment studies and keep mechanisms in place to prevent fall incidents that might result from working on fragile surfaces. Additionally, they are also responsible for work equipment inspection and maintenance.
Additionally, there are certain common guidelines that you should follow to ensure operational safety. Keep appropriate arrangements in place to carry out maximum tasks from the ground. For example, you may assemble materials or structures on the ground and use lifting equipment to lift them up to the required position. You should practise enough care and keep precautionary measures in place when workmen are required to work on or near fragile surfaces. Make sure that your workmen get enough space to conveniently enter and leave the work area. Keep emergency evacuation and rescue procedures in place and deploy appropriate measures to prevent injuries that may result from falling objects. Make sure that the access surface that your workmen use is strong enough to support their body weight or the weight of equipment that they would carry with them.
Avoid using ladders or step ladders if you are required to handle loads or to spend more than thirty minutes to complete a task. It is not a good idea to use ladders if you are not able to maintain contact at three points while carrying out a task. Avoid trying to overreach while you are on a ladder, making sure that both of your feet rest on the same step while you undertake a task. Most importantly, you may want to attend a safety training course to get an in-depth knowledge on the use of fall protection equipment and on various safety procedures that you can undertake to safeguard yourself and your teammates from potential hazards. Additionally, you will also gain a deeper insight on the legal responsibilities which will help you to devise better work practices.