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Are your workers prepared to handle labour at great heights?

No two workplaces are alike, and it's difficult to say precisely how safe or unsafe a given site will be before getting a solid feel for it. However, one thing's for sure - it's always riskier having labourers complete jobs at great heights than doing work on the ground.

Unfortunately, this is sometimes a necessity. For example, construction workers are at times asked to build rooftop structures, and there's often no other way to do this than to send them up to the roof for hours at a time. Even with seasoned professionals, there's always the risk of someone slipping, falling and seriously injuring themselves.

This means companies need to be proactive about keeping disasters from happening. This is a twofold process - it begins with preventing people from falling in the first place, but beyond that, it also includes providing cushioning so that those who do fall turn out OK.

Guarding against workers' risk of falling

Are you unsure about whether work at heights is a potential safety issue for your staff? Never fear - Australia has a nationwide standard in place that helps clarify this point. According to WorkCover Queensland, there are two key numbers to remember - 3 metres and 26 degrees. If you have labourers on a roof higher than 3 metres, or steeper than 26 degrees, you're looking at a potential safety risk.

There are two ways to mitigate such risks. The first is fall prevention. For example, you can put protective barriers on the sides of the roof so that, even if a worker slips, they'll be held back from falling off of the structure altogether. This can help prevent some scary accidents.

You can also go one step further by setting up arrest controls. This means erecting platforms below the roof in question that can catch someone mid-fall, lessening their risk of serious injury or death. If you have both prevention and arrest control measures in place, your workers will be able to rest easy.

Devising new strategies in the workplace

If you're really, seriously worried about workplace falls being a major issue for your staff members, you may want to take more definitive action to realign your work strategies and prevent problems in the long term.

Industrial Safety and Hygiene News noted that this can be done, but it requires doing a great deal of research beforehand and comprehensively assessing the risks that your workers face. Which areas of your worksite are dangerous? How often are people there, how much work are they doing and how strong (or weak) are the protections you have in place?

Once you have all of this relevant information, you can start to weigh risks against rewards and make decisions about how to change your workflow plans. This may involve eliminating work at heights where it's possible to do so, or installing control measures that will help reduce the risks of something going wrong.

Assess your needs and get employees trained

You might be entirely sure about what risks your employees are facing, if any. You may decide that, during the assessment process, you need to reach out for a little bit of help with understanding your company's needs and adequately preparing for them. If so, that's not a problem. We at Blackwoods Training have got you covered, offering a range of courses to train your employees in height safety.

We have a wealth of online courses available, allowing employees and their managers to learn the basics of work safety at their own pace, from wherever they choose. We're ready and willing to help your employees stay safe and thrive with each day at work - get in touch with us on 13 73 23 to discuss your requirements.