The Hierarchy of Control When Working at Height
Work at height is a pretty risky business and, here at D-marc we aim to make rooftop work and other work at height as safe as possible with our range of products, including our wind-resistant roof safety barrier system and our roof walkway system. However, following the correct safety procedures is essential before any work at height is carried out so today we’re going to take a look at the hierarchy of control when working at height.
It’s essential to assess the risks involved with the work at height and take all necessary measures to avoid accidents in the following way:
Avoid Working at Height
Whenever possible use a plant equipment at ground level rather than a roof or change the equipment altogether – for instance, a “reach and wash system” can be used for cleaning windows instead of using ladders.
Prevent Falls with a Designated Safe Place
If working at height cannot be avoided, then designate a “safe place” where the work can be carried out with minimal risks (for example, a balcony or parapet). This means that additional protective equipment should not be necessary as preventative measures are already in place.
Prevent Falls using Collective Equipment
Install a permanent system that provides a passive solution for multiple workers, such as a demarcation barrier system. This means that workers can then concentrate on doing the job, rather than the safety system in place.
Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Fall Restraint
Fall restraint systems usually include an anchor point and a lanyard which will prevent workers from reaching a hazard.
Minimise the Fall Distance
If a fall cannot be avoided, then use collective equipment (like airbags) which would reduce the impact of a fall.
USE PPE Fall Arrest
A fall arrest system should only really be used as a last resort and anybody using this method will be required to undertake the requisite training in its use. If a worker falls, a fall arrest system will stop the fall before the worker hits the ground (or other surface).
Training, Training, Training
Training should cover the correct use of all relevant equipment and should also focus on safe working practices.
Here at D-marc we take the risks of working at height seriously and our rooftop demarcation barrier system has been designed to withstand the elements, including strong winds. This type of collective demarcation protection is ideal for preventing access to hazardous areas during regular rooftop maintenance activities. Whenever roof access may be necessary, designers are required to ensure that there is a safe route to and from the work area. Our barrier system is a cost-effective method of doing this without the need to install handrails and guardrails. The D-marc solution is easily installed (without the need for specific training to do so) without the need to drill and bolt it to the rooftop surface.