June, 2017

Work Safely At Heights

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Most of us are afraid of high buildings and we call it “Acrophobia“- fear of heights. I remember when I was still a kid; I got panic and felt very nervous when I was like falling from a high building. But nowadays, we can see a lot of high buildings and construction industry businesses. We notice men are working at heights, but sometimes we think, are these men working safely? Are they using safety gears and equipment?


Falls regularly happen from roofs, scaffolds, ladders, trucks and story floors or in the mines or dumps. Falls from less than one meter away may result in serious injuries and damages to people such as fractures, spinal cord injury, violent shock and brain injury. The possibility risk of severe injury or death from a fall increases pointedly, so we need to make sure to follow and use safety measures when working at heights over two meters.


Here are some helpful things you need to apply when working at heights:

  1. Where possible to remodel the workplace or the work tasks to lessen the need for people to do the exertion of work or part of the work at height.
  2. When work must be done at height, make sure that the work is done from one of the following:
    • A higher work stage or convenient support harness with secure handrails
    • Use of travel control systems
    • Fall arrest systems such as safety harness, industrial safety net or catch platform
    • Step platforms
    • Ladders

Also in travel restriction and fall arrest systems and the connected waterfronts must be planned by a skilled person. Any person using such systems must be given the proper training and direction.

  • Make sure storey floors, storage areas and any other areas that are planned to be retrieved have safety access with well-retained stairs or ladders and secure handrails and toe boards around the perimeter of a surface.
  • Any storage area including plaguing, dropping or the roof space of an office area within a factory must be planned accordingly for the intended loads.

Consider the following when using of ladders;

  1. Use a step platform ladder, where possible as they offer a larger and more constant work exterior than ladders.
  2. Always keep three points of contact when arising, sliding or standing on a ladder.
  3. Do not use ladders on balconies, terraces or other areas that will make them the possible fall distance for the user of a ladder.
  4. Make sure workers don’t;
    • Stand higher than the second step below the top plate of any ladder
    • Use ladders when using a tool that has to be operated with two hands or require a high degree of force.
    • Ensure ladders are placed squarely on firm, non-slip surfaces. Secure ladders by tying them to a support at the top and/or bottom. Alternatively, have another person ‘foot’ the ladder.
    • Inspect ladders regularly. Repair or replace ladders where rungs, steps or treads or top plates are missing, worn, damaged or loose.

Working at heights seems like we are putting ourselves at risk. It is important to know every safety measure and must follow the instructions from the person who knows excellently in the field. A harmful event is everywhere, so we must always be aware of any circumstances. Keep in mind that being safe requires braveness!

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