Health and safety when working on elevated structures
Posted on 29th Aug, 2016 | By Lorretta Tatham
Workers involved in construction and working from a height are at high risk of fatal falls. While falls and injury can occur from any height, elevated structures, such as bridges and motorways, increase the severity of accidents, should they occur. While dangerous, the risks of working on elevated structures can be minimised with proper safety training and equipment.
Plan in advance when working at height
As with all jobs, it’s important to plan your work in advance – especially when working from extreme heights. You need to consider safe ways of working, which equipment is best suited to the job and any training required to safely perform the job. The planning period should also include a risk assessment – with all potential risks being adequately managed.
Learn more about working safely at height with Browns
For a better understanding of how to work safely at a height, why not book on to our Working at Height Training Course?
Choose the appropriate equipment for working at height
When you’re working on elevated structures, it’s important to pick the right equipment for the job. You’ll need something that provides enough height and something that’s made from adequate material. For example, an access product that’s too short will cause you to overreach – one of the biggest hazards when working from a height. Likewise, an aluminium product is ideal for most scenarios, but not when working around electricity.
Learn more on the correct use of elevated structures with Browns
To learn about access products and their correct use, sign up to one of our specific product-related courses. Our Ladder, Steps & Scaffold Towers Training Course will ensure all your needs are covered.
Don’t forget your PPE equipment
Before starting work on a new project at an elevated height, you need to take all the risks into consideration. Will there be lots of drilling and plenty of noise? If so, ear defenders are a must to prevent hearing loss. Will there be lots of debris as a result of construction work? If so, safety goggles are a must to protect eyesight. One of the most important PPE items for anyone working at an elevated height is the safety harness. A safety harness will ensure protection should you suffer a fall, as well as providing peace of mind for all workers.
Learn more about PPE with Browns
Our Harnesses & Lanyards Training Course covers all the basic, practical and theoretical knowledge required to select and use the appropriate equipment.
Have a rescue plan
Last, but certainly not least, you should have a rescue plan in place. This should form part of your risk assessment and pre-work planning. All workers should be informed of any plans to ensure the process runs smoothly – should an accident occur. It’s also a good idea to have at least one member of safe trained in emergency first aid.
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With our 3 Day First Aid at Work Training Course, one of your team can become a competent first aider in just three days!
Looking to ensure maximum safety while working from a height? While increased safety knowledge and the right access equipment go a long way in minimising the risk of accidents, safety accessories are important too. Whether you’re looking for a ladder belt, safety feet or specialist accessories, you can find it all in our fantastic safety equipment accessories range.
Have you ever had an accident while working on elevated structures? If so, share your story with us in the comments below. Alternatively, you can tweet us your story @Brownssafety