Safety Harness Dos and Don’ts around the World

When it comes to working at height, safety is the main issue as this is one of the most dangerous types of work you can do.  Whether it’s working on rooftops, on scaffold, on ladders, on work platforms – there is always a significant risk and paying attention to safety is essential at all times.  There are different types of safety solutions for different types of work at a variety of locations.  If work at height can be avoided and the tasks carried out from ground level, this is always the preferred option.  However, often it’s the case that the work does need to be done at height using all of the relevant safety equipment available.  Today we’re taking a look at some of the dos and don’ts of safety harness use after two of our team members brought home some photos from trips abroad and discovered that not everybody uses this type of equipment correctly.

One of our team members was lucky enough to holiday in Bermuda and saw work being done by a friend on his yacht.  He had to climb up into the rigging to fix some of the ropes and had a harness handy and knew how to use it safely.    

Safety ladders

           Fixed access ladder

The work was carried out safely and successfully and the guy in the harness made it back down to ground level safely.  Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory in the North Atlantic Ocean and its laws are based on the common law legal system of England and Wales.  All workplaces in Bermuda, both indoor and outdoor, are monitored for health and safety and the country benefits from a stringent investigative and enforcement process when it comes to health and safety in the workplace.

Another of our team members regularly visits family in Crete, Greece and often comes back with some shocking photos of ladder use and flagrant health and safety breaches.  Here are the latest photos of a worker using a safety harness while fixing the telephone lines on a local taverna.  This work was carried out without blocking off the area underneath the pole – in fact, the guy just rocked up in a van, grabbed the safety harness from the passenger seat, put it on and climbed the pole before securing the harness.  He then leant over to access the cables on the wall of the tavern in order to carry out the work.  Admittedly, using a ladder would have meant moving a table at which customers were sitting and quite a lot of disruption but it’s better to be safe than sorry!  When asked about this, neither the worker nor the tavern owner seemed to have any idea of who is responsible for health and safety when work of this type is carried out.  Neither were particularly bothered about legislation either as they both know too well that, despite having the same health and safety regulations as the rest of the European Union, there is no enforcement process in Greece to ensure that the law is adhered to.  This is a country where the local police start their shift by calling into a taverna for a beer, chased by a raki shot to aid digestion and keep them warm during the day!