The most effective way to reduce the risks for personnel working at height is to install a quality edge protection system. However, before doing this, you need to know all the best practices for working at height in Australia. You need to fulfil all of the stipulated requirements before using edge protection so that the safety of your personnel is not compromised. Below, we outline the primary requirements and factors you must consider when planning safety measures for sites where construction or maintenance personnel will be working at height.
What must be provided before using edge protection
Edge protection is a crucial safety measure to prevent falls from heights. It’s typically installed on roofs, balconies and other areas with a risk of falling. Before using edge protection, certain things must be provided to ensure proper and safe installation and use. Before you specify, source and install a roof guardrail system, you must provide your team with the following:
- Detailed assessment of existing roofing materials
When working at height on the roof of a commercial or residential property, it’s essential to be aware of the condition and the type of roofing materials already in place. All roofing materials deteriorate with age and have the potential to harm a person. Even the best edge protection will not prevent workers from falling through a poorly maintained roof or one that has been constructed from brittle materials. Before installing any edge protection, a thorough inspection should be completed inside and outside the building.
- Protection of other personnel from falling objects and materials
All areas, including those below, should be surveyed too. After the survey, you can specify and implement safety measures to protect workers on lower floors and ground level from falling objects and materials.
This is one of the most important requirements before using edge protection as it can easily be overlooked if not addressed early. Access to the area in question should be restricted to essential workers to minimise the risk of accidental injury.
- Assessment of electrical hazards in the immediate vicinity
When surveying the outside of the building and its location, it’s vital to note the position of all power lines and telecommunications cables. You should also note the precise location of all electrical outlets inside the building where work will take place, including wiring for lighting fixtures. Once you have completed your survey, all pertinent details of electrical cables, fixtures and fittings should be included in a safety assessment presented to the project manager.
- Get information on local weather conditions
Adverse weather conditions can harm equipment and personnel when working at height. Gathering as much information as possible regarding the local climate when planning a new project is crucial. If any hazards are identified, precautions can be taken to ensure the worker’s safety is not at risk.
If it’s not possible to guarantee the safety of personnel due to seasonal adverse weather conditions, the project should be delayed until the weather is more conducive to working at height. Your project manager should receive a comprehensive report on the local weather conditions at the earliest possible opportunity.
- Prepare equipment designed to be safe to use at height
When considering what must be provided before using edge protection, tools and equipment designed specifically for working at height should be at the top of your list. Equipment designed for working at height should be specified and supplied to mitigate personnel risks.
- Provide adequate training on safe practices when working at height
All personnel should receive adequate training in safe working practices at height to ensure they don’t put themselves or their co-workers in any dangerous situations.
- Ensure a competent person will oversee the use of edge protection
This person could be a safety officer or an engineer responsible for overseeing the installation and use of edge protection to ensure it’s done properly and in accordance with safety regulations. They must have the knowledge, training and experience necessary to make decisions about edge protection. Having a competent person on-site can prevent accidents and injuries.
Use only the trusted edge protection systems from EWRG
Before using edge protection, certain things must be provided, including a detailed assessment of roofing materials, a competent person to oversee its installation, proper training for workers and more. By ensuring that these requirements are met, we can prevent accidents and injuries and keep workers safe on the job.
As specialists in the design, manufacture and sale of edge protection systems, EWRG is the supplier of choice for companies across Australia. We supply high-quality edge protection for both residential and commercial construction projects in all areas of the country. Whether you are interested in buying or hiring edge protection systems, we invite you to contact us now to discuss your requirements with one of our experts.