Working at heights can be extremely dangerous, especially when completing work on a construction site. Whether you’re completing the installation of a roof, balcony, or even just some lights, it’s necessary to follow all health and safety procedures. Any injuries or falls when working at heights can be fatal. Safety is paramount, and it is important to reduce the risk of slips and trips. This is achieved through a health and safety assessment that includes the time to perform a task, the potential risk, and the required precautions.
Roofs are one of the riskiest activities, and accidents are caused by falling from roof edges, openings, fragile roofs, and skylights. The key to safe working is secure access to the roof and the ability to work with the right safety equipment on the roof. Depending on the safety assessment conducted and the work required, there are various ways to gain access to a roof.
There are different types of roofs, from pitched roofs to flat roofs. Working on roofs requires attention and proactive planning. Remember, when using ladders you should always be on solid ground, this will help to prevent the ladder from becoming unstable and wobbly. Wear all safety equipment and fall protection. Safety nets, shock protectors and other relevant edge protectors ensure your safety and that of the public. These are considered a prerequisite for safe working at heights. For pitched roofs, these edge protectors should always be installed. In addition, employees must be trained in rescue operations. If this is not possible due to time constraints, make sure that some people are familiar with the on-site rescue skills. This increases safety when working at height and can minimise the number of fall victims.
General access scaffolding is often used on construction sites and mainly in the context of construction work in general. Allowing workers to safely work at heights and reach those hard to get to areas without the risk of any injuries.
Fixed or mobile scaffolding towers are normally used when space is limited for configuring a complete scaffolding unit. They are also used when certain areas are not close to each other.
Most commonly used for smaller jobs, this may include channelling or replacing some roof tiles, which are located near the edge of the roof. A ladder still needs to be set up safely, but this approach is less time consuming that it may be to build a scaffold.
Built-in skylights allow access from the property and you can access the roof in this way, but only when the work is near the hatch.
Ensuring you are following all health and safety regulations when working at height is a must for all employers and workers involved in the construction and maintenance of infrastructure. Anyone who builds or works from a great height is in mortal danger almost daily. Public safety can also be jeopardised if the work to be done is carried out in areas frequented by people.
The most important safety measures to avoid accidents and injuries are therefore sufficient knowledge about safe working at high altitude and common sense. Employers everywhere are required by the government to provide and follow the necessary procedures for the safety of their workers. Regardless of whether you’re new to working at heights or have been doing so for years, knowing the basic and general guidelines that you must follow contributes to your job security.
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