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 are able to work at height without a safety harness.

What is working at height without a safety harness?

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

Avoid heights!

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

- definitely working at height without a safety harness!

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!!]

Using a step ladder - working at height without a safety harness

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

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…

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

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!]

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

So - should you be working at height without a safety harness?

Just because in certain circumstances it’s not needed

or even not required…

In my opinion its easier having a safety harness on and not needing it,

than needing a safety harness and not having it!

(Just think if you needed to be rescued – wearing a safety harness makes being rescued a whole lot easier!)

Do you have a rescue plan?

[Need a bit of help?]

 

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