Safety Procedures for Your Company Employees Working at Heights
Recent data shows that 30% of all workplace deaths occur due to falling from height. This is a major concern for businesses that require employees, such as window cleaners, builders, sign fitters, painters, and electricians, to work at heights of 4 feet or more.
If you own a business like this, it’s important to make working at heights training mandatory for your employees. You must educate them on how to identify fall hazards and protect themselves. However, training is only effective as long as you implement the following safety procedures, too:
Inspect the Workplace for Hazards
Comprehensive training programs like those from AlertForce can educate your personnel on safety threats when working at heights. However, it’s not only your employees’ duty to identify them. You’re the business owner, and so you must know how safe the provided workplace is.
Perform a safety analysis to find potential risks associated with heights. Is there adequate edge protection? Are there any fragile surfaces or unguarded openings?
Inspect every little detail and create a report. This will help you understand the current situation better and make informed decisions about workplace safety.
Provide Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment (PPE) must be provided by all businesses that may expose the workers to safety hazards. It is a legal obligation in most countries like the US and Canada. So, make sure you invest in the right PPE for your employees.
Here are some common PPE used when working at heights:
- Full-Body Harness: It consists of straps that wrap around the torso, shoulders, and legs. It also has attachment points for securing a lifeline or anchor point.
- Safety Lanyard: It is a flexible line or strap used to connect a worker’s full-body harness to an anchor point.
- Eye & Face Protection: This includes face shields and eye goggles with side shields to protect workers from debris, dust, and other airborne particles.
Choose a Proper Elevation System
Different situations call for a different type of elevation system. For example, scaffolds with railing are a good choice for cleaning low-level windows.
However, for greater heights, you will need an aerial lift with lanyards and a harness. Sometimes, a ladder will also work. It is important to research the options and select an elevation system that will facilitate your workers the best.
Find a Suitable Anchor Point
Anchor points are the structures that support the weight of a falling worker. The person working at height is connected to the anchor point through a harness and lanyard.
Since this supports and secures the worker, it’s important to choose a suitable anchor point. By “suitable”, we mean an anchor point that is designed and certified by a qualified engineer. It should be capable of handling at least 5000 pounds or 2268 kilograms.
Maintain the Equipment
Having the right equipment is not enough. You must get it regularly inspected to ensure the safety of your employees. If a problem is detected, get it immediately fixed so that it doesn’t fail or cause a fatal accident.