Working at heights could be dangerous if safety precautions aren’t taken seriously. A little lapse in concentration at work can cause serious injury and even death. People’s idea of what working at heights means is widely misunderstood and underestimated.
A fall from a height could range from a ladder, a roof, loading dock, opening on the floor etc. Nearly 11% of deaths occur due to falling from a height. Most of the accidents take place at less than 1 metre above the ground. Here are seven top safety tips that your organization and roof workers need to know:
1. Avoid Working Alone:
Working in pairs helps to avoid accidents. Having someone on hand to help you straight away can make all the difference.
2. Train your Staff to Use Safety Equipment Correctly:
Ladders can be very dangerous so make sure your staff are well trained. Teach them:
- The three point rule on safe ladder handling i.e. two legs, one hand or two hands, one leg.
- To put the ladder on a solid level surface. Use a ladder leveler when you’re working on an uneven ground.
- Tie both the bottom and top of the ladder, to prevent ladder it from slipping.
- If you’re working in grass or mud, make sure that the anti-slip teeth of the ladder sinks into the ground.
- If you’re working on a deck or patio, use a board at the bottom of the ladder in order to avoid slipping or sliding on the ground.
- Always raise the ladder one metre above the edge of the roof contact location on the building, for safer access.
3. Avoid Working on Wet or Icy Roofs
Icy or wet roofs can be slippery. While working on wet or icy roofs, make sure you wear safety shoes as they are usually designed with good traction. And it’s never a good idea to walk on the roof backwards although, so many roof workers tend to do this while measuring, which is a danger in itself?
4. Understand the Fall Protection System:
No matter what type of fall protection equipment you are wearing, they are of no use if they don’t reach the ground before your fall. It may sound obvious but there are so many accidents that occur due to not having an understanding of the fall protection system. These problems usually arise if employees haven’t taken proper fall protection training or have been used without the assistance of a qualified person.
5. Personal Safety equipment should be inspected prior to use
Only a competent person can inspect the personal safety equipment. Personal safety equipment like roof anchor points, ladder access brackets, harnesses and lanyards may work BUT they are of no use if any part of your safety equipment fails while working. Thus, they should be inspected prior to use.
6. Choose an acceptable Roof Anchor Point
No matter how correctly your harness and lanyard is set up, if the anchor point is not capable of holding the load as per AS/NZS 1891.4:2009 15kN – approximately 1.5 Tons of load) then they are of no use. Simply ask your manufacture for the roof anchor test report.
Here is the ANKAme roof anchor test report: CLICK HERE
ANKAme are fall protection safety experts! We are passionate about our work.
Check out or purchase ANKAme’s wide range of safety equipment.