May 15, 2023 by

What is working at heights?

Working at heights refers to work where one risks injury or death by falling. So yes, technically, changing a lightbulb is considered working at height. Seriously though, working at height can include working on a roof or any project that involves scaffolding. Did you know that in South Africa, 14% of fatalities are from falls at great heights? These deaths are preventable through training and implementing effective safety procedures.

How to stay safe while working at heights:

  1. Make sure to use the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

 It would be best to use Personal Fall Arrest Systems (PFAS) when working at height. PFAS refers to equipment like full-body harnesses, shock-absorbing lanyards, and secure anchors. This equipment ensures that one doesn’t fall when working at heights, which is very important. 

  1. Always inspect and maintain your PPE

It is also imperative to constantly check the condition of your PPE. PPE should be examined by a trained member of the team who knows what to look for, at least yearly. You should also inspect your PPE before every use.

  1. Ladder? Scaffolding? Lift?

You need to know which to use to ensure your safety. Depending on the kind of job you’re doing and the environment you are in, you need to choose the appropriate apparatus. For example, you would not use a ladder to wash the windows on a skyscraper; you’d use scaffolding. It would not be wise to use a lift on an incline. 

  1. Train and talk about working at heights safely

Employers should ensure employees have sufficient safety training to work at heights. This can be formal accredited training but also informal working at heights safety talks before the task begins. This training will equip workers with the know-how to work at heights safely, reducing the risk of injury and death. This training will also ensure that the correct PPE is chosen, and it will equip you with the skills to manage and inspect said equipment. Safety training is imperative because it ensures that the proper safety procedures are employed. For more information on training, contact our team of safety instructors for a consultation.