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Height Safety Systems Prevent Workplace Accidents

April 29, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 175

Working on a roof can be dangerous and more people have fallen off a roof and suffered serious injury even though their intent was only to be up there for a few minutes than you can imagine. You'd be surprised at how many people have died because there were no height safety systems in place or due to the fact that they thought they didn't need to use the fall prevention systems because they were only going up for "a quick look."

This is why it is essential not only to have the proper height safety systems in place but to also train personnel so they understand the risks and hazards involved. Even if it takes them ten more minutes to get the job done because they have to put on a harness and make sure they are properly tied off to anchor points, those ten minutes can mean the difference between life and death.

Accidents Can Happen to Anyone

One of the most common misconceptions is that most accidents happen to people building a roof. It's a natural assumption since there are more chances of them falling, including through gaps and holes in the roof. However, just as many accidents occur to people who are simply there for inspection, maintenance, cleaning or demolition.

Any type of work being conducted on a roof is risky, which is why it is essential to have proper height safety systems in place, no matter how long or short term the job is. Of course, the type of systems you use will depend on the type of job that needs to be done as well as on the type of roof your building has.

Fall Prevention: The Number One Priority of Any Height Safety System

Fall prevention is the number one priority of any height safety system, which is why close analysis of the roof needs to be carried out. Thus, wherever a fall might occur, a guardrail should be installed. Additionally, a guard should be installed to prevent objects being kicked off the roof. Remember, accidents can also occur when materials fall off the roof and hit someone walking by.

Anchor points should also be used, especially in situations where guardrails are impractical or the roof has the even the smallest incline. Thus, workers equipped with a harness and the right length lanyard are less exposed to the risk of a fall.

Note that an ideal anchor point system functions on the principle of restraint mode, meaning that the anchor point is positioned so that the worker cannot actually reach the edge of the roof. This is why it is also imperative for the lanyard to be of the correct length.

Training for Increased Workplace Safety

You can have the best equipment in the world and the most innovative height safety systems installed but it will be for nothing if your employees don't know how to use them properly and aren't aware of the hazards. Complacency is a serious issue, so is the "I'll just be a moment" syndrome. Both can lead to serious injury because accidents happen when least expected but most often when one isn't vigilant.

This is why it is essential that all your employees receive the proper training so they know how to work safely in high areas. If workers are inexperienced, then they should be supervised by someone who has extensive experience working at heights.

Height safety systems are the only barrier between a healthy work environment and serious workplace accidents. Thus, it is imperative that you install the best possible systems with the help of a qualified, experienced team.

For more information on height safety and for recommendations on the best system for your particular situation, please visit

Height safety systems, including anchor points and fall arrest systems, are important safety aspects for any workplace where workers are required to work at height.

Source: EzineArticles
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