Falling from heights is one of the most common causes of injuries and deaths in the workplace. Incidents may result in severe financial costs for the company and lifelong damage for the affected employee.
With regulatory requirements getting stricter every year, it is in your best interests to minimise the risks however you can. What are the most common causes of fall accidents?
Ladders and scaffolding are cheap, which make them the best choice for many situations. For example, companies use these if the job only requires a person to work at heights for a short time, or if the site’s features make it hard to use larger equipment.
Nonetheless, they can also move unexpectedly or collapse with the slightest mistake. Classic Hire recommends using specialised access equipment like elevated work platforms, as these provide better stability and fall protection. If funds are limited, you do not need to buy them; access hire is widely available and cost-effective.
Every elevated work surface should be clean, durable and well lit. Compromised surfaces can greatly increase the risks of an accident occurring. Make sure employees never begin work until they have determined that the platform they are stepping on is safe.
Falling from roofs
There have been cases when fragile roofs collapse under a person’s weight. Falling from the edge is also an ever-present risk. Make sure that anyone working on the roof is wearing appropriate personal safety equipment, like harnesses. You should also inspect roofs beforehand and identify potentially dangerous spots to walk on.
Lack of guardrails
Finally, all areas should have appropriate fall barriers. This is not just limited to work sites; elevated pathways and the like should also have guardrails. Reports show that most cases of work accidents involve people falling from unsecured gangways and catwalks.
Extreme vigilance should still be a priority when working at heights. Any such work requires thorough planning and supervision. Employees should always hold a healthy amount of respect for the dangers involved.