A systematic approach to height safety will safeguard your team as well as prevent you from wasting time on inefficient or unnecessary measures. Using a height hierarchy of protection helps you choose the most appropriate strategies and equipment for the job.
The Hierarchy Of Height Safety
1: Risk Minimization
Avoid exposing workers to fall risks in the first place by finding alternatives to work at height wherever possible. Use your risk assessment to determine if a safer strategy is available. Can you use machinery or bring the work to ground level instead?
2: Collective Protection
Sometimes, a risk assessment deems that work at height is unavoidable. In such cases, where control measures can reduce risk to a satisfactory level, the next step is collective protection. Collective protection is a cost effective, passive measure which protects all workers completing the task. It usually comes in the form of guardrails or barriers to protect workers from dangerous edges.
3: Personal Fall Protection
If collective protection measures do not sufficiently reduce risk, it’s time to think about Personal Fall Protection Equipment (PFPE). PFPE comes in two main forms: fall restraint and fall arrest. Fall restraint is preferable as it minimises a worker’s exposure to fall hazards and poses less risk of injury. Only resort to fall arrest when other measures cannot adequately reduce the potential of a fall. Fall arrest systems stop workers coming into contact with the ground or other structures should a fall occur.
4: Rescue Plan
Your height safety strategy should ensure falls are a rare occurrence and are successfully halted if they do occur. When a fall arrest system successfully prevents a fall, you need a rescue plan to safely bring a worker back to firm ground. Your rescue plan should list necessary equipment such as rescue kits as well as who will carry out the rescue.
The best equipment in the world won’t be much help unless your team receive rigorous training. Training programs give team members the skills, understanding and confidence to carry out the task safety.
At HITEWORX we specialise in access equipment including guardrails, mobile platforms, rooftop access and fixed safety lifelines. We also supply comprehensive height safety training packages for your whole team.
Talk to a member of the HITEWORX team about how we can help you meet your access challenges. From site survey to design, build, certification and inspection, we’ll take care of your project from start to finish. Call today on: 0333 234 1801