Avoid Falling Victim to These Work at Height Myths and Misconceptions – Part Two
In the first part of this topic, we ruled out some of the most common myths and misconceptions people have fallen victim to for years. This is a continuation of the text where we cover more myths that you should be aware of to stay safe.
- You Won’t Need Fall Protection Equipment if You’ll Only Spend a Few Minutes Working
When it comes to work at height, fall protection is vital whether you intend to work just for a minute or two hours. You need to ensure compliant installation of the fall protection system for the safety of those who’ll be conducting various activities at heights, as per the Work at Height Regulations (WHR). Also, ensure to have the necessary PPE to help prevent injuries in case of a fall. Look for CE accredited fabrications to ensure you’re purchasing equipment that meets minimum safety standards of design, fabrication, and operation.
2. Fall Protection is Expensive
When it comes to your safety and that of your workers, cost shouldn’t be a priority, especially when working at height. Investing in competent personnel and fall protection equipment that meets the minimum safety standards helps prevent potential life-changing injuries. This investment can be much cheaper than the fees you’ll pay for your treatment, compensation, HSE fines, business downtime, or investigation fees. Besides, you’ll incur large business losses due to a reduction or loss of productivity.
3. You’ll be Safe if You Wear a Harness and Attach the Lanyard to an Anchor Point
When dealing with body harnesses, it’s essential always to consider the fall clearance. This will prevent you from coming in contact with a lower level. Consider adjusting the harness until you’re sure of a safe fall clearance before you begin working. For starters, fall clearance is obtained by adding together the free fall distance, safety factor, harness stretch, and the arrest distance.
4. You Don’t Need to Check Your PPE Again if You Recently Did
Pre-use check is always essential before using any equipment, whether you checked before storage or just a week ago. Conduct a visual inspection to check for signs of deterioration or damage. If you come across some missing parts or irregularities, consult a competent expert to advise on the necessary steps to take. Conduct a full test of your PPE at least twice a year, and a compliance test at least once a year. This check will help you identify faulty equipment and those that have reached their life span and schedule a repair or replacement.
5. Fall Protection is Common Sense
Most people tend to believe fall protection is common sense. In fact, fall protection requires compliance and an adequately trained, competent workforce to enhance work at height safety. Ignorance and negligence are major threats to safety when working at height.
6. You Can React Quickly to Minimise Injuries in the Event of a Fall
Our bodies can react to a number of uncertainties, such as a fall. However, your brain does not always instantly react to a fall, as you may think. Unfortunately, your brain will be fully aware of the fall in about six meters (if you’re still conscious during the fall), which may almost be too late for an effective reaction.