As time goes on, Ireland is becoming more and more industrialized. The Safety, Health, and Welfare at Work regulations are the primary ones regarding workplace safety and heights. Below, we’re going to discuss working at height procedures in Ireland and how you can stay safe when you’re working. For more information, keep reading below!
What does “working from a height” mean?
While we’re talking about working at various heights, we should first discuss what that means. When you’re working at a heights, you can’t just be working a foot off the ground. The question then begs: how do you know if you’re working at a height? You might also be wondering at what height is fall protection required.
In short, you know you’re working at a height if you’re working high enough off the ground to get injured if you fall. In addition, you have to be working at a height that would cause an injury if you fall from one level to the next.
Someone who falls from the top of a tall ladder directly to the ground is considered to be working from a height. Someone who falls down the stairs, however, would not be considered to be working from a height because they would fall down multiple levels. In the latter example, the injuries would be caused by falling down several levels and not necessarily by falling from a height.
What you need to know about employers and your safety
Working at a height comes with many dangers. One of the best ways to avoid injuries is to have proper formations and equipment. That’s where your employer comes in. As you can imagine, they are partly responsible for injuries and falls that occur on job sites.
One of the most important things to know is that your supervisor or employer has to avoid assigning jobs at a height if the worker is not certified or if there are other options at their disposal. Not only this, but your employer has to reduce both the risk and impact of a fall. For employers who want to inform themselves on, or buy, harnesses that can reduce the impact of falls, you can click here. Harnesses like arrest harnesses can reduce your fall speed, which will also prevent serious injuries.
Here are some things you should keep in mind if you’re an employer looking to improve workplace safety.
- Don’t assign jobs at a height if your employees aren’t certified to work above ground.
- Always have a backup plan in case someone does fall from a height
- Be wary of having breakable machinery or fragile objects on the worksite.
- Prevent employees from working during bad weather
- Have someone evaluate the worksite to ensure all equipment is up-to-code
What you need to know about your safety
We already mentioned the various responsibilities that supervisors have regarding the safety of their employees. If you’re a worker, you also have some responsibilities to consider. If you want to follow safety regulations, we have a list of them here.
- Take as many certifications as you can
- Always follow the regulations you were provided by your trainings and certifications
- Prevent injuries by reporting any damaged objects or machinery that could cause a fall or make the consequences of a fall worse
- Don’t be under the influence of intoxicants while you’re working
Do you need a working at height risk assessment?
Working at height risk assessments are useful when you need to know whether your worksite and equipment are safe. Most of the time, a working at height risk assessment is required to perform work. These assessments can help to identify potential fall risks, hazards, harmful objects, and they keep a record of everything observed.
It should be noted that in Ireland, you’re expected to have one of these assessments done.
About a Backup Plan
We already talked about the need for a backup plan. Wanted or not, you can take all the precautions in the world and you can still experience falls on worksites. Your equipment might fail, someone might miss a step. Whatever the case, you should always have a Plan B. This is an emergency plan that will consider backup equipment in the event that the active equipment fails. You should also consider whether you have rescuers available to help in the face of an emergency. You should also have your safety equipment evaluated regularly. Things like chemicals and wear can cause equipment to fail over time.
If you’re working at heights, you’ve likely heard horror stories about people falling and injuring themselves. If you’re working at heights and want to know more about what you can do to protect yourself, contact us today! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.