15 Apr The 8 Most Common Causes of Accidents when Working at a Height
In this article, we discuss eight of the most common causes of accidents when working at a height. As you will see, simply using any available equipment is not enough to prevent accidents. All height safety equipment must suit the job at hand, follow strict safety guidelines, and be used correctly to have the maximum safety benefit.
- Using the Wrong Height Safety Equipment for the Job
Every project has unique height safety specifications and requirements. You should assess the site and then determine the best equipment for that job. If not, you risk using equipment that is not suitable, which could lead to an accident.
- Uncertified or Poorly Maintained Height-Safety Equipment
Height safety equipment must be regularly and properly maintained to ensure it is secure. Manufacturer guidelines indicate how often equipment should be replaced; however, we recommend that any equipment involved in an accident be retired.
- Unprotected Edges
One of the most common causes of accidents at a height is having walkways or working areas without any fall protection. Unprotected scaffolding, guardrails or platforms present an unnecessary risk to the health and safety of everyone on your worksite.
- Fragile Surfaces
Falls can occur on elevated fragile surfaces when placed under pressure from the weight of equipment or workers. Skylights, cement-roof sheeting and asbestos are the most common fragile rooves.
- Unstable Equipment
Unstable equipment and surfaces can cause workers to lose balance, fall or drop tools or materials from a height. If you’re considering using unbalanced equipment or working on an uneven platform, stop and think about the accident risk. Properly set-up height safety equipment should feel safe and secure.
- Incorrect Use of Height Safety Equipment
Workers must undergo height safety training before working at a height. Incorrect use of equipment can lead to accidents. If you forget how to use equipment or move to a new site, you should participate in height-safety training.
- Weather Conditions
Adverse weather conditions can increase the risk of accidents when working at a height: rain, ice, strong wind or extreme heat all impact workers and the safety conditions. If your worksite is experiencing severe weather conditions, working from an elevated height may need to be postponed.
- Falling Materials
Unsecured and falling materials can present a significant risk to workers at a height. Tiles, bricks, tools and other building materials can fall. For workers attached to height safety equipment, moving away from falling objects can be challenging.
Need help with height safety equipment on your worksite? Contact us at Australian Height Safety Services for personalised assistance. You can reach our friendly team on 1300 854 217 or leave us a message.