Falls From Heights: How to Ensure You’re Safely Working at Heights

man working at heights

There are many jobs in today’s world that require workers to complete tasks at dangerousheights.

The question is: when the employee has to work at those heights, are they able to do so safely?

To ensure your employees have a safe environment when working at height, consider the following tips.

Ladders vs. Alternatives to Reach Heights

Make sure you are using the best method available for working at a particular height.

While a ladder may seem like the most effective method to climb to the needed height, that does not mean it is the safest. This is especially true if the ladder isn’t secured, or there is no fall arrest equipment for the employee to use while on the ladder.

Sometimes there is a safer alternative for you to reach a particular height including boom lifts and scissor lifts.

Follow Safety Regulations for Working at Heights

When you do need to use a ladder, make sure you are following all safety regulations.

That means checking to make sure the ladder is in working order, that you have anchored the ladder safely into place, and that you don’t stand directly on the top step.

Railings are a Big Aide

Use railings when available. While this does not apply to every style of ladder, some come with railings that you can use for climbing and as protection on the top step.

When that style of ladder is available and applicable to your task, this is the best choice to use for climbing.

PPE: Protective Equipment for Working at Heights

safely working at heights

Always see to it that you are using proper gear, aka personal protective equipment or PPE.

This means using a harness that can be attached to a secure anchor point that will save you mid-fall and prevent a serious or fatal injury. Make sure you have a comfortable harness that will hold you in place and not cause you any discomfort as you use it.

Also, make sure your harness and any other safety gear is checked regularly. If it needs to catch your employee, you want to make sure there is no wear and tear to the device that would cause it to fail when the worker needs it most.

Appropriate Gear & Devices for the Occasion

working at heights

Ensure your fall protection device is designed for the situation it is being used in.

A prime example of this is a lanyard on your harness.

If you are 10 feet off the ground, and your lanyard is 6 feet long, you would think this would be okay. However, a lanyard doesn’t begin to stop a fall until after a person has fallen 3.5 to 4 feet. Unless you are working higher than 12 feet in this situation, you are going to take a nasty fall and still hit the ground. Anchoring your lanyard in at the highest possible point that is still secured is the best way to ensure that you have enough distance between where your fall would be stopped and the ground below.

Proper Lift Use for Working at Heights

Use lifts correctly. When you are standing on a lift, make sure you are anchored into place correctly before the lift starts moving. While the platform is in motion, make sure you are also holding on to a railing with at least one hand.

If you are not properly anchored and all protective gates are not closed and locked, that could be a disaster for you, especially if you decide to lean on it while the platform is in motion.

Any jerking of the lift would be enough to throw you off the equipment without these protections. That means the lift operator also needs to exercise caution while using the equipment when a coworker is on the platform.

Working at Heights Safety Training

ppe harness for working at heightsTraining is vital for addressing safety issues and keeping employees healthy and productive.

If you drill safety measures into your employees’ heads, and remain diligent in stressing the importance of these measures, then they will use them when needed.

Also, make sure to spot, address and correct any unsafe habits as they happen.

This will hopefully break employees of any bad habits they have. If not, then be sure to escalate the situation because an ongoing safety liability is destined to cost your business a large sum of money.


How ACT Can Help

Hopefully, you find these tips helpful for staying safe while working at heights in your workplace!

While safety may not always be the most exciting thing to talk about, it is crucial for workplaces to have these conversations to keep everyone safe and healthy. You don’t want to wait until an incident happens; you want to be proactive and prevent them from ever happening.

Talk to Advanced Consulting & Training about how we can help your organization increase your workplace safety.

Please add Content in FAQ