Today we have another guest post from NATT Safety Services, an Ontario safety training company. They have an article with tips for working safely at height. Enjoy her tips!

Many jobs require you to work at heights, especially in the construction and mining industry. Working at heights can be dangerous and can cause a serious injury even if you fall from just a few feet.

Within the construction industry specifically, OSHA reports that close to 40 percent of all deaths in the workplace occurred due to falls. This number includes workers who have fallen off ladders, roofs, scaffolding, etc.

Falling from heights at your work site can cause permanent disabilities in addition to fatalities. You must take safety precautions to make sure that you are working in a safe environment. Here are six safety tips for working at heights.

1.      Use guardrails and fencing

When working on roofs or other areas with fall risks, you must use guardrails or fencing where ever you can to keep yourself and the workers under your supervision safe.

Guardrails and toe-boards should be used in accordance to worksite regulations. Railings are available in portable and permanently fixable options with different styles. In addition to the guardrails, adequate safety nets and harnesses need to be provided and used properly, with proper training provided to employees.

When working from elevated worksites, you need to ensure the safety not only of workers at the top of the worksite, but also workers underneath, who could potentially be hit by falling objects.

Remember that guardrails and fencing needs to be adequately labeled and signage used to ensure they are visually noticeable.


2.      Use Proper Equipment

The use of proper equipment is important for the safety of your workers. Ladders, for example, can often be used improperly and the wrong ladder chosen for the job, which can cause accidents.

Choosing the correct fall arrest equipment is extremely important in protecting workers from injuries. When a proper harness, connection, and anchor point is used, they form a Personal Fall Arrest System that is vitally important for safety on the job site. Determining these correctly requires proper safety training which can be provided by a CPO-Approved Working at Heights training provider.


3.      Inspect your Personal Protection Equipment

You can get all the necessary safety equipment and put it on but if you are not inspecting it before use it is highly likely that it can fail at any time. The harness and lanyards need periodic inspection by an expert as well as by the user before they put it on regularly. For this you must have the knowledge of what you are looking for and what to do when you find a fault.

In addition to checking your PPE equipment, checking ladders, scaffolding, fencing, etc. regularly is important.


4.      Choose the Best Solution

Evaluate your worksite situation and choose the best means of working at heights. Each job is different; some may require you to work on a lift, some on scaffolding and some may require working up on a ladder.

The PPE you choose to have on must be according to the platform you are on. Choosing the proper ladder for the specific job is important. Make sure that you are customizing your safety solution to your specific job site and job.


5.      Use Ladders Properly

Just because you have a ladder at home that you use to make fixes around the house or to put up the Christmas lights does not mean you know how to use it properly. Many workplace accidents happen due to improper use of ladders.

There are different aspects of ladder safety to take into consideration or make sure you are educated about. Use our ladder inspection checklist to ensure you are using your ladders safely and properly.

6.      Education and Training

Make sure you regularly complete the safety training sessions and classes provided by your employer to be able to handle emergency situations. If you are a new recruit, have more experienced workers walk you through the safety measures. Supervisors and employers will also need to ensure their employees are adequately trained for the job at hand.

Don’t underestimate the risks of working at heights and make sure that you are doing what it takes to be safe.