Common Safety Mistakes People Make When Working at Height

Common Safety Mistakes People Make When Working at Height

13th May 2020

Working at height is still a significant factor in job-related injuries and deaths. Falls from ladders and unsecured rooftops is a major cause of the injuries. Unfortunately, some hazards are overlooked and can eventually result in different incidents. Below are some of the most common safety mistakes to spot in the quest to help raise awareness and promote a safety culture in your workplace. Please read on. 


  1. Failure to Access Risks

One of the major mistakes some employers and safety officers make is the failure to properly conduct a risk assessment. You should never take safety for granted, especially when working at height. One mistake, slip, or equipment failure can result in a catastrophic fall. You need to identify potentially dangerous situations and arrange for proper mitigation steps to prevent injuries and even deaths.


  1. Not Inspecting the Equipment Before Use

Pre-equipment checks are very essential. Workers working at height should always check their PPE and other equipment before they start to work. This will allow them to detect any defects with the equipment before it’s too late. This inspection is also essential for fixed access equipment, such as fixed access ladders and staircases. In case of any problems, ensure to fix the issues as soon as possible.


  1. Not Wearing the Proper PPE

There are several types of PPE, each designed for different kinds of hazardous works. Wearing a wrong PPE could result in an injury should an accident occur. It’s, therefore, important that you wear the right PPE, including the size and purpose. Some workers also tend to think that safety is entirely a responsibility of the employer. This can be a dangerous idea that could result in a fatal accident. All workers should play a part in establishing a safety culture in the workplace.


  1. Improper Use of Ladders

Improper use of ladders is one of the most common causes of workplace injuries. It’s imperative that you rest a ladder on a stable, flat surface to prevent it from slipping or toppling when climbing. Do not rest your ladder on weak surfaces like plastic gutters, glazing, or windows. Ladders are also not meant to be used for heavy jobs and tasks that require longer periods. They should only be used on light tasks expected to take not more than 30 minutes to complete. Performing longer and heavier tasks on ladders can risk the ladder breaking hence resulting in injuries. To prevent such avoidable incidents, use scaffolding or lifts for longer and heavier projects.


  1. Installation Issues

When installing a roof or rooftop equipment, workers should never take safety for granted. Hiring unqualified or inexperienced installers and contractors can be a big mistake anyone can take. This can result in too much or too little product being installed. Or worse, incorrect installation, which is non-compliant with the relevant standards. Only qualified and competent workers and contractors should be allowed to work on projects involving heights.


  1. Non-Conformance to European Standards

Conformance to the relevant standards is non-negotiable. You should ensure that your company does not engage in any non-conformity tricks but embraces the commitment to the relevant European standards and safety directives.


  1. Lack of or Poor Maintenance of Safety Equipment

The maintenance of safety equipment is vital to ensuring safe operations across the workplace. However, failure to maintain safety equipment is still an issue most supervisors and safety officers are faced with. Ensure to lay out clear safety procedures that outline the role of different workers in keeping the equipment in working condition.