What safety equipment do you need to work at height?
24 August 2017 08:29:47 GMT
You need to think of your safety every time you carry out any work at height – the risk of falling and injuring yourself means that it needs to be a top priority. Yes, you need to follow all of the sensible safety precautions but you are also highly dependent on the safety equipment that you wear and use.
When you are working at height professionally, the right safety equipment to use should be determined by a risk assessment. But if you’re just carrying out some DIY tasks that require working off the ground then you may need to consider what kind of personal protective equipment (PPE) you need to be wearing as well as any other safety equipment that may be necessary.
Let’s take a look at the kind of safety gear and equipment you should be using when you are required to work at height.
Collective protection measures
If you’re going to be working on access equipment such as a scaffold tower, you need to make sure that it has been correctly set up and features collective protection measures such as guard rails. This is the most important kind of safety gear – those that are built into the access equipment act as a natural defence against falling.
Regardless whether you’re on a scaffold tower or a ladder, it’s important to wear the correct PPE. This starts with head protection. A hardhat is vital, especially if there are people working with you at height. When they are above you, a piece of equipment could be dropped which could severely injure you. It may not be necessary to wear a helmet if you’re simply carrying out DIY.
While not necessarily a piece of PPE, your footwear needs to be sensible. You need to wear shoes that are both comfortable and hard-wearing; if you’re going to be standing on a ladder you need to feel as secure as possible. That means your footwear should be sturdy and have plenty of grip – certainly no sandals or open-toe shoes.
Depending on the work that you are going to be carrying out, it may be necessary for you to wear goggles or another form of eye protection. Any time there is a risk of dust or debris getting into your eyes, you need to be wearing some form of protection. Blurry sight or irritated eyes at height are really not something you want.
Remember to wear appropriate gloves. If you’re working out in cold conditions these will be essential and they may also be necessary if you’re using hand tools. However, be aware that while thick and heavy gloves can provide protection, they can also mean you will lose dexterity.