Top 5 Safety Mistakes When Working at Heights

window washers operating at heights

Working at heights remains a significant factor in job related injuries.  Worker falls from ladders and poorly secured rooftops remain a major cause of major injuries.

When it comes to safety training and awareness, working at heights is one of the primary areas of focus. In this article we’ll explore the Top 5 Mistakes made with regard to working at heights.

When Working at Heights, Even Small Mistakes Can Result in Serious Injuries or Fatality

Common injury scenarios include falls from ladders and through surfaces that have open sections or are too fragile to support workers or equipment. A worker performing a job “at heights” means any distance that can lead to personal injury.

As you can imagine or are all too familiar, given the nature of working at heights, one mistake can lead to serious or drastic consequences.

Failure to Assess Risk is a Cause of Accidents

workers working at heightsAn all-encompassing mistake is the failure to properly assess the risks involved with the job.

The assumption that regardless of the height involved it is ok to “cut corners” will eventually result in injury.

Risk assessment starts with an examination of the need to send a worker to a potentially dangerous height versus other solutions. The assessment continues with mitigation steps. An example of a mitigation step would include equipment measures such as rails, or nets to prevent injury.

Another similar risk failure scenario is to check the roof surface for holes or inadequate support or obstacles that can lead to a fall. This is another example situation where the immediate job need overlooks the need to always follow procedures. To avoid injuries, always assess the risk when working at heights and follow established guidelines.

Improper Procedures – Ladders

PPR for working at heightsA very common working at height injury is a ladder fall. Proper safety procedures require making sure ladders are secured using an eye-bolt and ratchet strap. Given there are many ladder types and various height adjustment options, ladders can often require specialized training to include the use of safety lines and other forms of risk protection.

Improper Use of Safety Equipment

As mentioned above, proper use of equipment, such as a fall-arrest harness when working on a ladder is an important safety step. The fall will be stopped in the event of a slip of the ladder with the harness, however the proper use requires training. Training in the proper use of all equipment is essential to safely working at heights.

Fail to Maintain Safety Equipment

working at heights safelyThe maintenance of safety equipment is consistent with the proper use concept. Safety procedures should identify the individuals responsible for keeping the equipment in working condition. Maintenance steps should be clearly documented and tested to ensure equipment is checked regularly and deemed ready for the job.

Tasking Untrained Workers

Workers must be trained to work at any reasonable height. This height can be a little as 5 feet and still result in injury. Mistakes are the result of not following safety procedures to include tasking properly trained individuals to work in locations without the proper training.

How ACT Provides Working at Heights Safety Training

Working at heights remains a significant factor in job related injuries.  A safe job completion requires following established safety procedures. Be alert for these five potential mistakes.

Advanced Consulting & Training offers safety training and certification classes in Working at Heights, as well as consulting services for customized safety plans and implementation.

Contact us today to find out more.