Tips and recommendations to avoid accidents when working at height
It is reported that 40% of occupational accidents in UAE were related to the height of the employee during the incident. To increase the safety of people working in these conditions, there are several types of equipment to prevent the infamous accidents at work at height.
Choosing the best equipment for each situation is important to avoid accidents and even the risk of death. For this reason, working at heights ends up generating a lot of concern and discomfort for employees who have to face this challenge, since small mistakes can be fatal. And, in many cases, the error can occur mainly due to the lack of information and adequate supervision of activities. For Working at height course click here
Working at height is such a worrying type of activity for society as a whole that it even has a specific Regulatory Standard. It is Regulatory Standard 35. Continue reading to find out everything about this subject!
What are the preventive measures for working at height?
Both employers and employees need to take certain measures to prevent accidents at work. Let’s understand some of them, which are the responsibility of employers:
- Conducting periodic training for employees who work in these environments;
- Implementation of preventive measures;
- Acquisition of specific and quality Personal Protective Equipment for activities at height, always paying attention to the validity of each piece of equipment individually;
- Planning of actions that need to be taken before the start of activities.
In addition to the employer, the worker also needs to be aware, since he is the one taking the risk. Here are some precautions:
- Always be present in the training offered by the company;
- Inspect each piece of equipment used, before and after each activity. Attention to the expiry date is also necessary;
- Correctly store and conserve each PPE used after its use;
- Use the PPE in the best possible way and never forget it during activities that present any type of risk.
What are the most common accidents at height and their main causes?
The causes of accidents at height are directly linked to the main accidents at work. And, unfortunately, they are often fatal, either due to the fall that the worker suffered, which could result in several hits before reaching the ground, or because they hit areas of the body that are more sensitive, such as the head.
Among some of the most common accidents we can find:
- Accidents involving stairs;
- Inadequate assembly of scaffolding;
- Incorrect operation of lifting platforms;
- Fall of materials on employees performing activities on the ground.
These are just some examples of situations that can occur in the daily life of any company — but why do these accidents happen?
There are some requirements that a worker who performs activities at height must meet. Three basic factors are: physical conditioning, psychological and technical knowledge. Below is a list of some of the main causes of accidents at heights. Check out!
Lack of proper planning of considerably dangerous task
Before performing any task above ground level, planning is required to avoid unnecessary risk at all times. Studying and observing the workplace to find out what equipment will be needed to perform the task and whether the equipment is in good condition is essential.
It is also important to consider the time it will take to complete the task. If there is any doubt, supervisors and trained security specialists should be consulted.
Disregard of Personal Protective Equipment by workers:
PPE is indispensable for anyone working at height, as it minimizes the risk of accidents. Some examples of PPE are: seat belt, helmet and gloves.
Disobedience to safety protocols can cause serious accidents, capable of putting the worker’s life at risk. The lack of awareness about the risks involved is a serious problem, as workers are often not aware of the dangers to which they are exposed during their activities.
When it comes to work at height, the legislation requires the use of both collective and individual equipment. The equipment must be certified and in good condition, as well as within the validity period. The lack or improper use of equipment can pose serious risks to the worker.
Lack of adequate training:
Lack of training on the risks of working at height is one of the main causes of accidents. It is important that all employees receive adequate training for the activities they will develop. This includes technical knowledge of the function and correct handling of the equipment used.
In addition, it is illegal to lack training for workers who perform work at height. Furthermore, the lack of training can lead to fatal tragedies, as employees will not have knowledge about the equipment and will not know how to act. It is the company’s obligation to promote training programs with a minimum workload of 8 hours for these cases.
It is extremely important that the worker is in good condition to carry out the activities. The working hours must be respected to avoid overload. Working at heights involves extreme conditions, so employees need balanced physical and mental fitness.
In addition to the danger of performing dangerous activities, such as those performed at heights, overwork can cause various problems for the employee, both physical and mental. Among them, we can mention fatigue, back pain, limb pain and cramps, posing a real risk to the employee.