4 Fall Hazards You Should Prepare For

March 01 2019
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Falls from height are a common workplace injury for many companies practicing projects involving height access. Construction workers, roof repairmen, window cleaners, harvesters, and many more employees risk their lives every day.

Even though the height access equipment is becoming safer and safer every year while the fall protection gear is improving even faster, some workers still manage to risk their lives needlessly. The reason is not the lack of equipment but an improper understanding of possible fall hazards.

Each employer must provide their workers with adequate training and information about such hazards. The tendency to rush the work process often leaves people vulnerable to seemingly obvious worksite problems.

  1. Low Height Is A Hazard

While everyone knows that falls from heights are dangerous, not many workers consider such heights as 2 feet as problematic. However, falls from lower heights can cause terrible consequences, including death. The body doesn’t have the time to react to the fall before it hits the ground.

It’s highly important to be aware that working at any height is a risk. Awareness is the key to safety, even if you are washing the windows on the first floor.

  1. Skylights

Workers often overlook skylights, deeming them far from being dangerous. However, they forget that skylights aren’t made to withstand a person’s weight. Even though the surface may seem solid, essentially, skylights are holes.

Sometimes skylights blend in with the surroundings so well that workers have no idea what surface they are standing on. Guardrails and safety nets can prevent falling through skylights. Meanwhile, workers should have a plan of the building in order to know where skylights are located.

  1. Deteriorating Materials

Fiber-cement roofs and other fragile surfaces are frequent causes of falls and serious injuries. Meanwhile, deteriorating surfaces are even more dangerous. With fragile materials, a fall can be prevented by acquiring the right information. Deteriorating materials are often unnoticeable until it’s too late.

It’s highly important to raise the awareness about possible deterioration. Workers should test the surfaces before stepping on them. A smart approach is to consider all the roofs fragile. The best way to avoid injuries is to work from a height access platform instead of stepping on the fragile surfaces.

  1. Falling Objects

Working at heights involves numerous tools and materials. These tools and materials are a fall hazard. Workers or the people walking near the worksite may be injured by such objects.

Preventing tools and materials from falling is easy by using tool cords and aerial platforms with space to keep them inside a basket.

 

WHAT IS IPAF

The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide in the widest sense – through providing technical advice and information; through influencing and interpreting legislation and standards; and through safety initiatives and training programmes. IPAF is a not-for-profit organisation owned by its members, which include manufacturers, rental companies, distributors, contractors and users. IPAF members operate a majority of the MEWP rental fleet worldwide and manufacture about 85% of platforms on the market.
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