Defining Work at Height
Work at height is a broad category that includes any task carried out in a location where a fall could potentially cause personal injury. This includes, but is not limited to:
Working on Scaffolds
Scaffold work is a common example of work at height. It involves constructing, inspecting, and using temporary platforms that allow workers to perform tasks at elevated levels.
Activities such as installing or repairing roofs, guttering, and other structures at a height above ground level fall under this category.
Working on Ladders
Using ladders for tasks like painting, maintenance, or construction work is considered working at height.
Working on Elevated Platforms
This includes tasks performed on elevated work platforms, cherry pickers, or scissor lifts.
Arborists who work in trees to perform tasks like pruning, trimming, or felling are considered to be working at height.
Jobs performed on telecommunication, broadcast, or wind energy towers fall into this category.
Construction and Demolition Work
Almost all aspects of construction and demolition involve working at height, from the initial framework to the finishing touches.
Risks Associated with Work at Height
Working at height presents significant risks to workers. Falls from height are a leading cause of workplace injuries and fatalities worldwide. Some of the risks associated with working at height include:
The primary risk is falling from an elevated position, which can lead to severe injuries or fatalities.
Tools, equipment, or debris dropped from a height can pose a threat to workers below.
Scaffolding, platforms, or other elevated structures can fail if not properly constructed, maintained, or used.
Wind, rain, or adverse weather conditions can increase the risk of accidents.
Safety Measures for Work at Height
Strict safety measures and guidelines should be followed to mitigate the risks associated with working at height.
Workers should receive adequate training on working at height, including the safe use of equipment and fall protection measures.
Use of Fall Protection Equipment
This may include harnesses, lanyards, and anchor points designed to arrest falls.
All equipment, including scaffolds, ladders, and safety harnesses, should be inspected regularly for defects or wear.
Guardrails and Toe Boards
These can help prevent falls from platforms, walkways, or edges.
Work at height should be postponed during adverse weather conditions.
Safe Access and Egress
Workers should have safe means to access and leave elevated work areas.
Protocols should be in place for rescue and first aid in the event of an accident.
Understanding what constitutes “work at height,” along with the associated risks and safety measures, is essential for ensuring the well-being of workers in industries where such activities are common. By implementing proper training, equipment, and safety protocols, employers can create a safer work environment and reduce the likelihood of accidents and injuries. Prioritizing safety protects workers and contributes to a more productive and efficient work environment.
To help ensure that your workers are sufficiently trained to prevent falls, Clockwork Training’s Fall Protection Training program is a one-day, end-user program based on Part 11 of BC regulations & CSA Z259 & Z359 standards. Perfect for anyone at any skill level, we ensure that trainees learn system analysis, equipment inspections, how to fit in a harness and solve fall protection-based scenarios. Contact us or register to learn more about our fall protection program.