Working at height without a safety harness

Working at Height without a safety harness

Can’t be done right?

Well – it depends…

If the type of work your team are doing can avoid “working at height”, then YES!
YES – you can work at height without a safety harness.

What is "Working at Height"?

Basically, any height where a member of the team could fall to a lower level and hurt themselves. This could be a fall

Avoid heights!

Avoid - Work at Height

This is 100% the best way to not get hurt!

The best way to keep your team safe is to ensure everyone pays attention – they know to look where they are going, and they evaluate what they
are doing!

Think ahead at all times. 

Consider if the task can be designed or managed differently to avoid working at height altogether?

Remote working

Some tasks can be done at a safe distance – without exposing the team to height

  • CCTV using drones
  • long handled tools, some with cameras to perform a task

– including turning, moving, pushing, grabbing, cleaning by washing, blowing and even vacuuming!

Although it’s unlikely that you can clean the entire house from the comfort of your sofa. 😉

Is climbing a ladder - working at height?

[this is a whole new blog!!]

Working on a scaffold or other fixed platform

Source: Health and Safety Executive

Travelling

NO, using a ladder to access a different level is not working at height

Thought should be given

  • to the angle of the ladder – vertical ladders are more tiring
  • securing the ladder (tieing off)- if the climber needs a rest or needs to carry equipment transferring on and off the ladder is probably the most dangerous

Working

Thought should be given

  • to the angle of the ladder – vertical ladders are more tiring
  • securing the ladder (tieing off)- if the climber needs a rest or needs to carry equipment transferring on and off the ladder is probably the most dangerous

Working on a scaffold or other fixed platform

Protect - Safe working platforms

The team are at height, but so long as they
are behind suitable barriers, then you are
on a safe working platform and no harness
is needed, but…

Drops - Restrain Objects

you do need to think about
– rescue from height if needed in an emergency
– ensuring no objects are dropped

So - What is NOT Working at Height

  • working near fragile surfaces (when these break – especially in roofs) – these are like holes in the floor
    • being caught in nets – think the trapeze at the circus!
    • landing on air bags – think the stunt people in “The Fall Guy” [am I showing my age?!]
  • working near open edges – where there is no sufficient barrier to stop you falling off an edge
  • temporary platforms such as crates, open scaffold or other platforms
  • effectively fill the hole in so there is no longer an edge to fall over

We can reduce the distance or consequences of a fall

  • working near fragile surfaces (when these break – especially in roofs) – these are like holes in the floor
    • being caught in nets – think the professional trapeze at the circus!
    • landing on air bags – think the stunt people in “The Fall Guy” [am I showing my age?! 🤔]
  • working near open edges – where there is no sufficient barrier to stop you falling off an edge
  • temporary platforms such as crates, open scaffold or other platforms
  • effectively fill the hole in so there is no longer an edge to fall over

[Not like the clowns at the circus!]