Working at heights

In a vast majority of technical professions working at heights is unavoidable at times, sometimes the work that needs to be done is in a spot that you cannot reach without equipment. Whether this equipment is a ladder or a scissor lift or maybe you have to use a harness while working on a roof. I did a stint as a roof tiling apprentice when I was younger, I only survived a couple of years, that job is tough! With all hazards in the workplace, OH&S guidelines will recommend that you eliminate the hazard from your work routine as the first point of action. They obviously know that sometimes this will be impossible, you cannot tile a roof without … being on the roof, so a fall hazard will always be present. It is all about minimising the risk as best as you can.

Minimising fall risk

In this personal opinion article, I will mainly be drawing on my experiences as a roof tiler and a little bit from when I worked fixing planes. When it came to roof tiling it was all about reducing the risk on the roof, I moved interstate in the middle of my apprenticeship and this is actually what caused me to give up the job. In the first state I lived in the safety systems in place were quite robust, guardrail was present on every roof we worked on, the odds of falling off a roof were minimal as long as you paid due diligence. I moved interstate and took up roof tiling with a new crew. The safety elements in the new state were abysmal in comparison to the old systems that were in place in my previous work environment. This highlighted to me how important safety is because I was literally scared about injuring myself for the entire day and I could not move past that fact.

In a previous job fixing aeroplanes, the emphasis on safety was even more pronounced than in the better roof tiling job. While safety was important in the roof tiling job there was always an element of making sure to just get the job done, however in the hanger everything was about safety, not just for you but also for the equipment you were using. Sometimes you would have to work up at heigh on top of the jet, presenting an obvious fall risk. Fall arrest mats were used in case of a fall.

Working at heights can be dangerous but there is a huge amount of ways to make it safer for you and safer for everyone around you. If you are working on a platform at heigh make sure it has kick panels, you would hate to kick a tool off your platform and for it to land on somebodies head. If you are activating a scissor lift or a cherry picker make sure that you attach your harness before you start to raise the bucket. Common sense as always will always be the biggest factor when it comes to safety. Think safe, be safe.

If you are ever unsure about a safety aspect of any job you are doing make sure that you contact a safety supervisor in the workplace, if you don’t have one then maybe you need to find a different environment to work in, or talk to your supervisors about establishing a more prominent safety culture in your workplace. Roofers Brisbane provides roofing safety systems to ensure a safe workplace. Contact them click here.

No one deserves to get hurt at work.