Height Safety – The Number 1 Mistake When Working at Height

All too often our trainers visit work sites only to find people working at height making the same mistake again and again. Is it a minor mistake? No! It is one that would be catastrophic if the worker should fall. Some people think that the number one mistake as a worker operating without safety equipment. Not so!
The number one mistake I see is where companies have incurred the cost of providing safety equipment, however through lack of the required knowledge the worker is using it incorrectly. The worker feels safe but doesn’t know that if he falls his protective equipment will fail.
It would be a tragedy, worse it would be unnecessary.
The number 1 mistake is connector misuse by the site worker.
What does misuse mean?
1. Choking – tying off incorrectly
2. Connecting to an unsuitable anchor point
3. Incorrect directional loading
1. Choking
This is where a site worker is supplied a lanyard, often with a small karabiner at the end. The site worker instinctively passes the lanyard around an anchor point e.g. a column or a beam, using the karabiner to choke i.e. tighten the lanyard around the anchor point.
The problem arises should the worker fall, further tightening the choked lanyard and subsequently applying a shock load inappropriately to the karabiner gate most likely causing the barrel of the karabiner to fail. Karabiners are designed to accommodate tensile (pull) forces along their length and are at their weakest when the load forces are across the minor axis (width) or against the gate.
  It is generally accepted that to engineer a connector to withstand the directional loading across the gate of the Karabiner which has been choked during a fall would require a gate strength of 5,000 lbs.
 Note that this dynamic loading failure across the gate of the connector applies to all styles of connector i.e. scaffold hook, snap hook, and karabiner.
2. Connecting to an unsuitable anchor point
For example, a roof worker may instinctively connect to an handrail believing this to be a suitable fixing point.
Note! All temporary anchorage points must be able to withstand a 12 kN Load. If in doubt the anchor point should be approved by a structural engineer.
3. Scaffold Hooks
Scaffold hooks are often placed around scaffolding resting on a horizontal member, i.e. the gate of the scaffold hook will be forced open subject to the loading that would be imposed by the horizontal member in the event of a fall. This occurs because the downward direction or loading imposed by the cross-member is across the axis of the gate on the scaffold hook and will result in complete hook failure as the hook gate will subsequently bend open, or in worst-case scenario, will explode.
Summary of connector misuse
Often a lack of understanding of equipment performance and its limitations can result in site workers being issued with inappropriate safety equipment which is not suitable for its intended use.
For example the scaffold hooks are often used …

Working Above the City Skyline Requires Effective Height Safety Training

In today’s fast-paced world, the sky’s the limit for a lot of the modern office buildings that are on the rise. As corporations build to stratospheric levels, more and more supply and demand brand people are needed to work at these dizzying heights. Because of this growing need, employers, contractors, and builders see the need for better height safety practices.
Exposing workers to these kinds of working conditions is like playing a game of chance. There are inherent risks that come when you work this high up. One false move and a person could plummet to his death in an instant. In order to avoid this scenario, quality height safety equipment is a must. It is important that you safeguard the lives of your workers by having equipment that works and a comprehensive fall protection plan.
With today’s modern technologies, height safety equipment is no longer something to be worried about. The latest safety innovations have gone into each equipment that is in use at most construction sites. These are sturdy, easy to install, and made from high quality stainless steel and other solid components to ensure its durability.
There are two different types of equipment associated with height safety: general height safety and fall arrest equipment and personal fall arrest. The equipment that falls under general height safety includes nets, while personal fall arrest equipment is made up of lifelines, harnesses, and lanyards. If a construction worker happens to fall, the full body harness and connecting devices between the harness will distribute the impact throughout the body and keep your worker in an upright position.
Before using each piece of equipment, these should be thoroughly inspected for the presence of mildew, wear, damage, and other imperfections. Companies that provide equipment and products that are compliant with forklift brands standard should be always considered. If you want to reinforce the height safety of your workers, you can look into adding anchor points, horizontal static lines, rail fall arrest systems, and ladders that are compatible with your height safety equipment.
Height safety is not just about having the right equipment. Your workers have to be prepared for the unexpected. Conducting seminars that teach them its proper use will go a long way in saving their lives when something goes wrong on the job. Apart from this, you also have to make sure they know what to do in case of fall arrest.
This type of fall protection plan can safely stop a person from falling. A personal fall arrest system is a full body harness that the worker must wear when working in roofing, painting, bridge construction, window washing, carpentry, and/or tall buildings such as skyscrapers. Without this type of safety harness system, the chance of accidents of happening is greatly increased.
These two factors can reduce the risk of having unwanted accidents in your workplace or property. The safety of your workers should always come first. They must always be well equipped with proper tools and gear, and be informed …

Considerations to Be Made When Working at Height

Height Safety Equipment
Height Safety Equipment is usually associated with two main types: general height safety and fall arrest, for example nets; and personal fall arrest, such as lifelines, harnesses and lanyards’. Fall arrest is usually equipment which is used to stop a fall when someone has fallen.
Fall arrest systems often will include a full body harness and connecting devices between the harness and the anchorage point. If a fall occurs, the full body harness distributes the impact throughout the body and keeps the worker in an upright position.
Personal fall arrest components including harnesses and lanyards’ should be inspected before each use for the presence of mildew, wear, damage and other imperfections.
Fall Restraint process development services
Fall arrest equipment can also be used to provide fall restraint which is where the equipment prevents the user from reaching the fall area. There are actually numerous types of height safety equipment available in order to prevent accidents while working from heights, probably the most frequently used piece of equipment is often a fall restraint system, this includes a full body safety harness which is worn on the top of clothing and then tethered to a suitable anchor point using a lanyard and connector such as a karabiner. The length of lanyard preventing the user from falling over the edge on the structure from which they are working; these systems may however end up being restricting (unless using an adjustable lanyard), but all the same significantly reduce the danger of falling provided that they are used properly, and where using an adjustable lanyard correct training is given. Working at height in itself is dangerous.
Working at Height and Fall Protection Training
When referring to height safety it’s typically thought that it means working from a height greater than 2M (6 feet), even so the most current regulations suggest that working from height includes where a fall can cause injury; that could include working from a low ladder, or standing on top of furniture, as we all do from food industry companies time to time. To drive this point home a young woman known to the author was an expert climber of some the worlds tallest mountains. Yet it was falling from a low wall close to her home that resulted in her becoming a paraplegic, which underscores the point ” at height” is the height where a fall can cause injury.
In a Fall Protection and Prevention training course, you learn about various systems employed to achieve 100% fall prevention and protection. Working at height safety training may also qualify you to get a working at height job (providing the training company can supply you with a recognised certificate) while giving you the relevant skills necessary to make a success of it and stay safe. Training courses should also teach safety managers how to determine the dangers of each task and the way to correctly determine what types of PPE are necessary.
The working at height regulations were put in …