Tag Archives: work at height

Important Safety Measures When Working At Height

Regardless of the frequency of you or your employees working from heights, it’s crucial that you put much importance and attention on safety measures. Why?

All it takes is just one simple mistake in the way routine works from heights are performed for a potentially fatal fall to happen. And whether it’s one fatality or several, a fatality is a very serious matter regardless of the number.

Prevention is always better than cure and it’s no different when it comes to workplace safety when working from heights. The following safety measures can help you minimize or even prevent falling from height accidents in the workplace.

Proper Training

No amount of safety measures, gear, and equipment will ever make up for ignorance or irresponsible behaviors and attitudes. Giving workers proper and regular training will enable them to optimize the safety measures and equipment you’ll provide to minimize fall-from- height accidents. It can also help put them in their place if they’re a bit arrogant or overconfident because, during training, they’ll have the chance to see for themselves – without having to suffer injuries – the potentially fatal or very serious injuries they may suffer from their current attitudes.

Rails

Using rails whenever possible is the easiest way to provide passive protection for your workers who are working from heights. And yes, those workers include those who are careless or arrogant. Because railings surround workers while on platforms, it will take a lot for them to fall off platforms. And by a lot, I mean huge acts of stupidity and arrogance such as intentionally climbing out of railings just for kicks or for bragging rights.

Proper Estimation Of Fall Distance

It can be tempting to dismiss any discussions or thought processes that deal with estimation of fall distances because come on, how difficult can that be? If a work platform is 10 feet high, it follows that the falling distance is 10 feet and therefore, fall protection equipment such as a lanyard must be 10 feet long too.

Wrong! More than just the actual height of the platform, estimating falling distance should take into consideration the worker’s height, the point at which the lanyard is connected to his body, and deployment distance or length if the lanyard has a deceleration device. Why? It’s because all of these will extend the lanyard’s effective length, which can make it effectively longer than the falling height. And if that’s the case, a worker will still hit the ground when he falls despite having safety equipment such as a lanyard attached to him. So when estimating falling distance, you must factor other stuff like what I mentioned above in order to protect workers from falling-related injuries.

Choose The Right Anchor Point

Anchor points for fall protection when working from heights are points from which tie-off equipment such as lifelines and lanyards are connected to in order to keep workers from falling to the ground in case they lose balance and fall of their working platforms. The primary considerations for choosing the right anchor point are stability and strength. In particular, you’ll need to determine the maximum amount of stress or weight an anchor point can bear or carry, which must be about 5,000 pounds per attached person. And most fixtures aren’t that strong to handle such stress or weight.

Choosing the wrong anchor points can render the use of tie-off devices useless because what point is a strong lanyard or lifeline when the anchor point will eventually break off during a fall and let the worker tied to it, plunge to the ground?

Conclusion

Whether or not the risks for falling from height accidents are high, you should never neglect or take for granted key safety measures because the potential impacts in terms of injuries can be very serious to the point that it may cause permanent disability or death to your workers. There’s no such thing as too few or too many debilitating or fatal injuries from falls. Any debilitating or fatal fall is one fall from height accident too many. The only acceptable number for such is zero. And safety measures help you minimize the incidents and impacts of such to your workers and your company.

Safety Concerns To Look Out For During Building & Construction

When it comes to fatalities, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the construction industry has a substantially higher rate than most other industries. And when you consider non-fatal or minor accidents, the numbers may even be double or triple those of other industries.

Why is that so? It’s because the construction industry has safety concerns that are more pronounced compared to non-construction industries. And what are those safety concerns? Let’s take a look at the most important safety concerns with building and construction activities.

Slips, Trips, & Falls

Construction work involves a wide variety of work activities on site. It shouldn’t come as a surprise then that falls, trips, and slips can happen almost everyday. This is mainly due to the fact that construction and building work sites are a cacophony of structures at different completion stages; there are also ground holes, stored equipment and materials, and scaffoldings to consider. For many construction workers and managers, it seems that normal to have eyes even at the back of their heads in order to keep safe!

Working at Height

In many cases, working on buildings – whether demolitions or constructions – would necessitate people working from relatively high elevation; falls from which usually result in debilitating or fatal injuries. Workers’ risks for falling from heights while doing construction or building work are often heightened by constrictions in mobility and access to such high working spaces.

Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome

Many construction workers suffer from a condition called hand-arm vibration syndrome, or HAVS. It’s a condition in which a person suffers from a debilitating and painful condition of the blood vessels, joints, and nerves caused by extended and chronic use of vibrating ground working equipment and power tools. This particular medical condition is one of the most prominent causes or basis for claims filed by former construction workers against their former employers who fail to provide adequate protection for their former and current workers.

Electricity

Electrocution is one of the most common types of work accidents that construction workers get into, year in and year out, especially those who are involved with the refurbishing of buildings. In particular, those who are working very close to overhead power cables and lines are at substantially higher risks for electrocution accidents. One of the reasons for many cases of electrocution involves the assignment of non-qualified personnel to do electrical work.

Noise

One of the major construction-related hazards that are often taken for granted on work sites is noise. When a worker’s subject to loud noises every now and then, the risk for hearing impairment is rather low. It’s a different story however when we talk about excessive, repetitive, and chronic exposure to extremely loud noises. And more than just hearing impairment, excessively loud noises may also be dangerously distracting for construction workers and cause serious accidents on site.

Many people think that when it comes to minimizing the risks for hearing impairment in construction sites, using ordinary earplugs can do the trick. Often times, ordinary plugs don’t offer enough protection for workers. As such, employers are often mandated to conduct and document a very extensive assessment of the risks associated with excessively loud noises at construction sites as well as giving their workers the necessary gear for minimizing hearing-impairment risks.

Risk Management Is Risk Minimization

Risk can’t be eliminated but they can be managed. The ability to clearly identify potential risks associated with building and construction, such as those enumerated here, is crucial because you can’t manage what you don’t know. And when it comes to implementing measures for managing identified risks, it’s important to consider how to minimize the chances of such risks actually happening.

Remember, an ounce of prevention is much better than a pound of cure. Risk management is prevention.

Potential Dangers Of Facade Cleaning

“Danger hides in beauty and beauty in danger.”  – Belva Plain

Buildings are magnificent works of art and a source of great pride for people and companies that own them. It’s one thing to say “my house” and it’s a totally different one to say “my building” or “my company’s building”. There’s just something about having a building that draws in a lot of attention, admiration, and respect.

Because of that, it’s normal for building owners and managers to want to keep their buildings looking clean and beautiful. For this, regular facade cleaning is an essential part of maintenance because let’s face it, people do judge by appearances.

But your building’s beauty may come at a price – a dangerous price. Cleaning a multi-story building’s facade can pose substantial risks or dangers for the people doing the job and passing by on the street below.

Facade Cleaning Dangers

When cleaning your building’s facade, potential dangers that may materialize involve working from heights, using access equipment, using powered equipment, and weak or poor quality structures. Let’s take a look at each of them in more detail.

Compared to merely fixing a high ceiling or a rooftop, facade cleaning exposes workers to substantially more dangerous heights. Think of cleaning the windows of a 15-story building from the outside and you’ll see what I mean. Falling from such heights is almost always fatal given the force at which a person can hit the ground after falling from such high platforms.

Another serious potential danger to which your workers may be exposed to is when using access or climbing equipment such as cradles, scissor lifts, and ladders in order to go up and down your building’s facade. The higher the building, the higher the risk will be. That’s why if your company’s workers are the ones cleaning the building’s facade, you must invest in very high-quality access equipment to minimize accidents emanating from faulty or defective equipment.

A related danger is the use of fragile structures that may collapse at any given moment, which can send your workers plunging down to serious injuries or worse, to their deaths. In particular, makeshift scaffoldings are a big no-no, which means it’s mandatory that you buy or rent top quality scaffoldings from reputable suppliers for the sake of your workers and the innocent pedestrians below.

Lastly, using powered equipment for cleaning difficult facade surfaces can also be a source of accident risk for your workers and consequently, the pedestrians below. Such risks involve electrocution, explosion, and accidental drop from high locations. If your workers will be using powered equipment, better make sure that such equipment is securely fastened or tied to the platform or scaffolding to ensure that even in the event your workers accidentally drop them, they won’t fall because those are tied to the platform or scaffolding.

Prevention Always Trumps Cure

Before embarking on a facade cleaning campaign for your building or a building you’re managing, it’s crucial that you identify the major risks your workers and pedestrians below may be exposed to. More importantly, you should come up with practical and implementable risk mitigation measures to address them. It may prove to be quite cumbersome at first but believe me, it’ll be worth it. It’ll cost you more in terms of resources and man-hours an accident happens while your workers are cleaning the facade of your building.

But if you don’t want the hassle of doing all the dirty work and you have the budget, why not outsource it instead? You can hire reputable companies such as Asretec to do the dirty work for you. While it may cost you more compared to doing it yourself, you can in effect transfer all the risks to them while getting the facade of your building cleaned regularly.

5 Safety Checks Before You Climb That Ladder

From painting walls, replacing light bulbs, and fixing roof, many common work-at-height activities will cause injury and even fatality to others if you do not pay enough attention to what you are doing.

When climbing up a surface, most people would think to use a stepladder or regular ladder. They are a staple, both in the workplace and at home. That’s why it is important that you know how to use ladders safely and pay attention to your surroundings.


1. Know how long you will be working at height.

If your work at height task would require staying up a leaning ladder or stepladder for more than 30 minutes at a time, consider an alternative equipment like scaffolding or even mobile-elevated work platforms.


2. Defective ladders must not be used.

Check for any defects on side rails, rungs, steps, and other parts. They may be loose, cracked, missing bolts, or have a faulty mechanism. If you found a defective ladder in the workplace, take them out of service; do not attempt to make temporary repairs.


3. Check for environmental hazards.

Unless barricades have been set up, ladders should not be used in passageways, doorways or other locations where they can be struck or displaced by traffic. You should also check for live electrical power sources before setting up an aluminum ladder. This is covered in more depth in a construction safety orientation course (CSOC).


4. Set-up the ladder correctly.

Set up the ladder on a firm, level, non-slippery surface. Set the ladder at a proper angle, with the top of the ladder resting on a flat surface. Secure the base and top of the ladder with add-on accessories like non-slip feet and rubber pad grips.


5. Climb up and down the ladder safely.

Avoid holding onto things as you climb. Grab onto the rungs of the ladder using a hand over hand method, never letting go of one rung before grabbing the next. Have someone hold the ladder down and pass you the tools. Finally, wear proper shoes instead of sandals.


A  good Building Construction Supervisor Safety (BCSS) course would remind you to put the ladder away (or at least lay it down) when you’re done working at height, or if you take an extended break. You shouldn’t leave stepladders unattended, especially around children. If you work in building construction or any other fields that require frequent work at height activities, you can look for safety consultancy or safety training to make sure your working environment is safe for you and your workers.

Bekerja di Ketinggian: Utamakan Keselamatan Pekerja

Suatu kegiatan tergolong bekerja di ketinggian jika dilakukan di ketinggian 1,8 meter. Semakin tinggi ketinggiannya, semakin besar risiko yang dialami pekerja Anda jika mereka terjatuh. Untuk menghindari kesalahan dan kelalaian dalam menggunakan perlengkapan pengaman, Anda perlu mengirimkan pekerja Anda–termasuk yang sudah lama bekerja–untuk mengikuti pelatihan khusus.


Kursus Bekerja di Ketinggian

Di ASRETEC, kami akan mengajarkan kepada pekerja Anda cara memasang dan menggunakan tali pengaman, memeriksa perlengkapan, serta latihan memanjat, menyeberang gedung, dan turun dari ketinggian. Kursus Bekerja di Ketinggian kami juga menguji pemahaman peserta atas tindakan pencegahan, penggunaan berbagai perlengkapan keselamatan, dan regulasi pemerintah.


Sekilas Tentang ASRETEC

ASRETEC telah menyediakan konsultasi, solusi, pelatihan, dan layanan seputar kesehatan dan keselamatan di tempat kerja. Sejak 2006, kami telah melayani lebih dari 1.000 klien di berbagai negara seperti Singapura, Malaysia, Cina, Qatar, Kenya, termasuk Indonesia dan Hong Kong baru-baru ini.

Demi keselamatan pekerja Anda, hubungi kami hari ini juga.