Safety Tips for Working at Height

30th March 2022

Working at height is one of the riskier roles in construction. The good news is that this risk can be mitigated by attention to detail. Learn how your construction company can implement measures that go a long way in preventing falls from cranes in Brisbane and Gold Coast.

Understanding the Regulations

Following safety regulations and best practices is key when it comes to safe crane hire in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The Government has stepped up at all levels of government, to put in regulation that reduces the risks of working at height.

The Regulatory Approach

The logic underpinning this regulatory approach is to avoid working at height if possible; but if it is necessary, then to do it in a way that minimises the risk of a fall; and where it’s not possible to minimise the risk of a fall, then to minimise the distance of the fall.

The Regulations Manifest

This logic is manifested in product features, such as the fall protection systems that are a fixed part of all tower cranes. Specialist features include rescue devices that lower people down from a height, without anyone to control the descent, so that it can be used for a single person at height.

In-Depth Risk Assessments

The likely causes of falls can be recognised in an in-depth risk assessment, which compares the likely on-site reality of a construction site against regulatory guidelines and industry best practices. The risk assessment analyses how likely a fall is, as well as how severe the effects of a fall would be.

Risk assessments should be undertaken ahead of time, to detect issues so they can be fixed before they ever come about on the construction site.

Likely Causes of Falls

When falls are fatal, this is usually due to inadequate edge protection where the fall took place. For example, improvised scaffolding that has been put up by unqualified personnel is unlikely to be structurally sound or have the proper guardrails. Both can lead to falls.

Other causes of falls include lack of edge protection on the roof, unprotected openings in multi-storey buildings, destabilised flooring, and ladders and hoists being used for convenience rather than more stable structures.

Regular Equipment Training

As well as having the right regulations and risk assessments in place, it’s important to train employees to use the equipment correctly. Employees should be trained in the implementation and use of specialist fall prevention or rescue tools, under an ongoing training programme.

Medical Emergencies

For example, if an employee actually does have a fall or other medical emergency while working at height, they should be trained so they know what immediate steps to take in first aid and rescue. Working at height usually means that it is difficult for medical help to arrive on time. Ideally, employees would be able to get the person at risk to the ground or other safe area.

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