Hazards and dangers are inherent in any job, but when working high up in the air, the risks increase. From roofers, to window cleaners, to construction workers – everyone needs to be prepared for the risks involved in their job while working at a higher elevation. Most accidents that occur are a result of falls but many of these can be prevented. Here are some tips to increase your awareness and help you to stay safe at higher elevations.
Planning. Planning ahead is huge. Know the safety considerations of that particular site well before you begin the job. Assess the risks, analyze them, and find solutions in advance. You might even need to get the site inspected by a PE so that there are no unanswered questions.
Training. It's imperative that all workers learn and practice safety rescue plans. These types of training sessions should be done regularly, not just one and done. Things change, memories fade, new personnel comes on board, and so safety training should be an on-going process.
Fall Protection. Review fall protection plans. Each job site has a unique set up, and should a rescue need to occur, it's important to be pro-active about a fall safety plan. Know in advance what to do at each location of a job site.
Equipment. Having the appropriate fall safety equipment for each site is crucial. Not all equipment works for every scenario or elevation. In addition, make sure that your workers are aware of the proper way to store all equipment so that wear and tear or corrosion doesn't bring up any surprises. All workers must be provided with correct fall protection equipment that meets ANSI safety standards.
Weather. Weather conditions can be more severe at higher elevations. Wind speeds at ground level can increase greatly the higher up you go. Know what the temperature readings are on the roof, and clear snow and ice before working at a site. Let workers know in advance if bad weather is coming so that they have time to come down from the buildings and get to safety in advance.
Clothing. Make sure that all workers are dressed for the weather – whether it's the beating sun or a windy day. Extremes at higher elevations make it necessary to take precautionary measures that you might not need at ground level.
Inspections. Consult with safety experts, such as our experts at GSS, to inspect and assess a building and the safety equipment in advance. Our professionals know exactly what to look for and will work with you on providing safe solutions.