Working Safely At Height

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Working at height is a naturally risky process. There are many dangers involved, including the risk of falling, of your equipment malfunctioning or of lowering yourself down unsafely and colliding with other objects. However, in the construction industry, it is expected that you will work at height and that you will be competent at it, so you know how to keep yourself and those around you safe. 

An important part of working safely at height is using the right safety harnesses. This is about much more than just choosing the most expensive harness, from the most well-known brand – the fit needs to be right, the harness needs to be the right kind for the task and you need to know how to use it correctly. Any of these aspects not being right could well result in your harness not protecting you as well as it should. It is entirely your responsibility to get this part of the process right. 

Here are some of the different kinds of safety harnesses and complete safety kits that you might come across in your work: 

  • Individual safety harnesses. Choose from different points depending on your needs, like a single point harness or a four point harness. This refers to the number of contact points there are, usually D rings, attaching you and your harness to something for your safety. If you are working somewhere awkward or especially high, you will probably want to select more points of contact. 
  • Safety harness kits. If you are just starting out and have no equipment of your own, it can be more cost effective to invest in a full safety harness kit. These will usually include an adjustable webbing lanyard, as well as the safety harness, and there might also be some added extras like bags and rucksacks to store your equipment safely. 
  • Safety harnesses for women. It is important that women working at height have the right kind of protection. A safety harness designed for women will fit better than a generic harness, meaning you will be better protected and a lot more comfortable during use. 
  • Safety harness accessories. There will be many accessories that come with your safety harness and over time, they might need to be replaced to keep your harness in top condition. Some of the accessories you need might include new X-pads, padded shoulder straps, and safety clothing to go with your harness, like safety jackets. 

Do you know your obligations when it comes to safety harnesses? If not, this is something you will need to explore in great depth with your employer, or with your members of staff. It’s so important that everyone around you is kept safe during the process, so if you ever have any questions, make sure you ask. It is too important a subject for guesswork. Much of this will depend on your industry, like scaffolding or roofing, as there will be a difference in your obligations depending on the types of work and activities you are carrying out.