Worker safety is a key concern on any job site, but it is particularly important for those who are working under potentially dangerous conditions. For those responsible for managing workers who are working at heights, providing adequate safety gear is just a beginning. They must also ensure all workers complete work at height courses through an accredited organization.
The first issue to address at any hazardous workplace is the ability to identify potentially hazardous conditions. Understanding when to take preventative measures allows workers to ensure that they are always practicing safe workplace procedures.
Understanding Fall Arrest Systems
The ideal way of dealing with working at height conditions on a job is to avoid them. However, in certain circumstances, there is just no choice but to work at height. When this is the case, fall arrest systems must be implemented to ensure the workers do not sustain serious injuries if they do fall.
Ensuring that adequate fall arrest systems are in place is only helpful if all of the workers using them understand the system’s correct use and applications. Certified courses teach workers how to inspect equipment, how to properly fit a harness, how to climb with twin lanyards, and how to traverse areas using horizontal lifelines. They also teach workers the basics of using work restraint systems.
Courses for Supervisors
Supervisors responsible for overseeing workers during work at height conditions require additional training beyond what is taught in the worker courses. They must learn how to conduct risk assessments, identify relevant regulations, implement preventative measures, and implement fall prevention plans as needed. Courses include training in how to use fall arrest equipment and how to identify a fragile surface and, subsequently, avoid potentially hazardous fall conditions.
Of course, identifying hazards is only the beginning in any practical scenario. In addition to finding ways to avoid fall hazards, supervisors must also have a plan of action in place should the fall arrest system be activated. Workers who are suspended for long periods of time face sometimes serious health problems and complications, so it’s important that supervisors know what to do in these situations so they can act quickly to implement a rescue plan.