28 Jan Your Scaffolding Harness Questions Answered
When it comes to scaffolding and working at a height, nothing is more important than safety. Your safety equipment is one of the most valuable aspects of your work environment, so ensuring that you are completely up to date with the regulations and safety guidelines in place for equipment such as harnesses is one of the most important things you can do.
We’ve taken some of the most common questions people have about scaffolding harnesses and safe practices on scaffolds to help you review your workplace measures and ensure you’re in the safest position possible before taking to heights.
This blog answers your top questions about scaffolding harnesses. To enquire about the harnesses and other protection equipment we have on offer, contact Australian Height Safety Services today and talk to an expert.
Do I Have to Wear a Harness on Scaffolding?
It is absolutely essential that scaffolders take all the safety precautions necessary when working from a height. To keep yourself safe when scaffolding, it’s best to ensure that you have all the necessary safety gear required, as scaffolders are not permitted to work at a height and be exposed to the risk of falling without the correct equipment. This involves utilising Personal Fall Protection Equipment, which does include a safety harness as the minimum requirement.
At what height does OSHA require a harness?
Every site is different and will operate differently, but OSHA guidelines will typically put 2 metres (6 feet) as the height at which fall protection systems are required. If working at anything above this distance, a safety harness is necessary to keep scaffolders and roof workers safe from injury.
Do you need training to wear a harness?
A safety harness is defined as an integral piece of Personal Protective Equipment, used as part of a Personal Fall Protection System. This means that you will need training to wear a safety harness, to ensure that you are using the equipment correctly and to ensure that the risk of accident is as minimised as possible.
What are the Three Types of Scaffolds?
Scaffolds are defined as an elevated, temporary work platform. There are three key types of scaffolds that you will encounter in the field:
Supported scaffolds consist of one or more platforms. These are supported by firm beams or members that are built to bear heavy loads, such as poles, legs, or frames.
Suspended scaffolds are a little different. Also consisting of one or more platforms, these are suspended at a height through overhead support such as ropes or other support systems.
The third type of scaffolding covers a broader range of machinery. Aerial scaffolds and lifts can often come under different types of vehicles, like personnel hoists, but can be defined as a type of mobile scaffold built to be more easily adjustable for the worker.
What is the best fall control?
When it comes to minimising fall risk, the ideal solution is to eliminate the hazard all together. Where working at a height isn’t necessary, it shouldn’t be done. Where the hazard can’t be eliminated, passive fall protection such as guardrails are the best next step, and only when those are deemed not enough to ensure total safety of workers should fall restraint systems and fall arrest systems such as harnesses get involved.
What PPE do Scaffolders Need?
Ensured safety for scaffolders and people working at height is absolutely essential. This can involve a number of different pieces of PPE (personal protection equipment) and other items. These include:
- Hard hats
- High visibility gear
- Steel toe cap boots
- Eyewear and face protection
- Hand protection
- Hearing protection
- Harnesses for height above 2 metres/6 feet
What is the maximum height you can work off a ladder?
There is no specific maximum height at which you can remain working on a ladder. However, for jobs where a worker is at 9 metres or higher on a ladder, landing areas and rest platforms should be made available.
How Long Does a Scaffold Harness Last?
Safety harness PPE, including for scaffolding use, have a maximum lifespan of 10 years, After a decade, or earlier if visible signs of wear/weakening appear, the harness must be taken out of service entirely, as they can no longer be trusted to protect a worker properly.
When should harnesses be inspected?
It is absolutely essential that all PPE is kept in top working condition, to eliminate risk of something not working as it is supposed to and guarantee safety of scaffolders. This means that all PPE should be inspected by a competent person at least every 6 months – harnesses, ropes, and lanyards can easily wear down when being used in harsh conditions, and regularly checking their quality is vital to keeping a workplace safe.
Should scaffolders work in the rain?
Where possible, scaffolders should avoid working in harsh weather conditions such as rain, hail, high winds, sleet, and snow. Whilst it is entirely possible to work safely on scaffolding in the rain, the wet weather can affect productivity and can wear down safety equipment over time. To effectively avoid higher risk for workers, it’s best to work in dry conditions as much as possible.
Learn More About Height Safety – Contact AHSS Today
If you’re looking for new equipment, or have further questions about scaffolding and appropriate safety gear, the AHSS team is ready to help you out. As professional experts with combined years of experience in working with scaffolding, we’re available to offer personalised advice on your current practices and provide invaluable resources to keep your workplace safe. Contact us today to enquire about our height safety services on offer.