Cheat Sheet Check List for Working at Height
The most common cause of deaths in the construction industry is falling – here at D-marc we know just how risky working at height can be. After all, our products have been designed and manufactured to provide extra levels of safety when working at height, with the roof safety demarcation barrier system and our roof walker walkway system offering a solution for those who need regular access to flat roofs. We’ve put together a handy cheat sheet of things to consider when working at height so that readers can print it out and use it when planning operations.
- Every height means “working at height”. There is no “safe” distance to fall from, it’s what happens when you land that causes the damage! Whether you’re working on a platform that’s 5ft high or 50ft high, you must always take the same precautions.
- Make sure you know when it’s appropriate to use a ladder – it’s vital that a ladder is only used on jobs that take a short period of time. If you need access to the work area for more than 30 minutes, then it’s more appropriate to use a work platform or scaffolding. Ladders should only be carried out for light work, heavier work should be carried out using a work platform or scaffold.
- Damaged construction equipment should not be used. If you come across damaged equipment the label it so that your workmates don’t use it then report it to the supervisor on site immediately.
- Ladders should never be painted, however scruffy they may look. Painting ladders can cover over signs of damage which means that you can’t perform a proper pre-use ladder check.
- If you plan to use a ladder, it must be correctly placed at a 75 degree angle to the wall (the 1 in 4 rule) to ensure that it’s safe to climb on.
- Be responsible and before using a ladder (or any other work at height equipment), make sure that you inspect it carefully for damage. Don’t rely on the person who used the ladder before you checking for damage, it’s your responsibility to check every time.
- Secure the ladder properly before attempting to use it.
- Maintain 3 contact points at all times when working from a ladder. This means that both feet and one hand or both hands and one foot should always be on the ladder.
- When using mobile tower scaffolds it’s important to always use the built-in ladder. Using any other method to reach the working platform is dangerous and puts you at risk of a fall.
- Before using a mobile tower scaffold, make sure that you check that the wheel brakes are in proper working order and correctly engaged to provide stability. If any of the wheel brakes are not working properly, don’t use it – label it properly and report it to the site supervisor.
- If you’re using a mobile elevating work platform then it’s essential that you use a harness lanyard attached to the designated anchor point on the platform to keep yourself safe from a fall.
- Make sure that you use brick guards when using tools and equipment in the air – this will prevent anything from falling and injuring people below.
- If the work being undertaken requires that materials are stored on the platform for convenience access, then make sure the platform being used is able to bear the weight of the equipment and make sure that none of the equipment can fall from the platform.
- Make sure that you (and anybody working with you) have the correct certification to handle scaffolds. Any person erecting or dismantling scaffold would be authorise, trained and competent to do so.
- If you’re working on a flat roof, prevent rolling over the edge by using toe boards or a demarcation barrier system installed at least 2m from the edge of the roof.