Construction often involves working at heights, which can be dangerous for everyone at the construction site. This is why it is so important to ensure you have the right safety equipment before you start work. To ensure worker safety, here is the safety equipment they need to remain safe at work.
Roof Anchor Points
Roof anchor points can be used as part of a fall arrest system that catches a worker if they fall through space. They can also include a rope system that workers can use to ascend or descend while suspended on a harness.
Guard rails are another important component in the prevention of falls and injuries. Depending on the worksite and the height at which workers are working, you can install a simple guardrail or a fully integrated safety and guardrail system. To ensure the guardrail works as expected, it is important to have a professional install it and check it regularly so that it performs as expected when required.
Personal Protective Equipment
For foot and head protection, workers must wear a harness when working higher than a few feet high. Construction harnesses work with other protective equipment to arrest falls. Before getting to work, it is important to check that the harness fits correctly. You can do this by checking that the straps are adjusted accordingly and that they are tight enough to hold you if you fall.
To ensure construction harnesses work as expected, also check the lanyard, the rope, and the anchor point to ensure it can support you should you ever need it to. To ensure worker safety, all parts of this system should be checked regularly because this system’s effectiveness depends on the weakest link.
Speaking about PPE, it is very important to inspect it as often as necessary. Systems do not have to be worn out too much to fail. Lanyards and harnesses need to be inspected every single year or even more frequently whenever used often. Only a competent person should carry out this inspection.
In addition to professional inspection, every user needs to inspect PPE before use. This often means that specific training is needed for knowing exactly what to analyze when inspecting safety equipment. Pre-use checks do not need to be very complex or take much time. However, they have to be very thorough.
Falling objects are very dangerous and are often overlooked at many construction sites. Even where workers wear protective gear, that may not be enough to protect them from falling tools. To prevent tools from falling and eliminate this threat almost entirely, workers should wear tool-securing gear.
Workers can also use different tethering solutions to achieve the same results. In addition to preventing injuries and fatalities, these tethering solutions also help save costs associated with lost tools and equipment.
Ladders are very common when working at heights. Unfortunately, they tend to be the source of so many workplaces and industrial accidents simply because they are taken for granted. This often happens because ladders are very familiars and workers are very used to them.
Whenever using ladders at heights, remember the following:
- The ladder needs to be extended at least 3 feet past the climbing level.
- The rise and run ratio need to be 4 to 1.
- The ladder’s 3 contact points need to be always engaged.
When using a fixed ladder with a height of over 24’, workers need to use ladder safety systems. This includes a harness, a vertical lifeline (a continuous one, a rigid rail or cable), and a lanyard. Do not use cages to protect yourself from falls.
Lifts are not often regarded as safety equipment, but they still provide some protection when working at height. Lifts come with anchor points so you can be properly tied off when working, thus eliminating the need for other equipment such as wall and roof anchor points if you are going to be using the lift extensively.
Lifts also come with railings and gates (for scissor lifts) that help protect workers from falling if they have not secured their chains or lanyards.
Working at a construction site does come with some danger. That anger is amplified when working at height. It is very important that in addition to safety training, construction workers are given the right safety equipment to prevent falls and reduce the risk of serious injury. Always hire a specialist whenever you need to work at extreme heights or when you have to protect your employees.