Working at Heights | Hazards and Control Measures 2020

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Working at height — Hazards and control measures

Working at height possess high risk and most of the fatalities recorded worldwide due to failure of fall protection measures. 2019, its ninth consecutive year, Fall Protection declared as most cited OHSA violation. The agency announced in Working at height National Safety Council 2019 Congress & Expo .

Below list published by OHSA for the year 2019.

1. Fall protection

2. Hazard communication

3. Scaffolding

4. Lockout / Tagout

5. Respiratory protection

6. Ladders

7. Industrial trucks

8. Fall protection: training requirements

9. Guarding of machine

10.Personal protective and rescue/lifesaving equipment — Eye and face protection

OSHA working at heights standard

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· Workers will be authorized to work on these surfaces just when the surfaces have the essential quality, structural integrity and adequate strength.

· A walking / working surface of 1.8 m or more above a lower level must be protected against falls by using railing, safety net or individual fall arrester aid.

· Any worker who erect a leading edge of 1.8 m or progressively above the lower levels protected against falls by using railing, safety net or individual fall arrester/protection aid.

· If a handrail is chosen to protect against falls and a controlled access area has just been defined for the work at edge, the command line can be used instead of a handrail along the edge parallel to the main edge.

· Each worker in a crane man basket/hoist/ cradle must be protected from a fall of 1.8 m or more at lower levels by railing or full body harness.

· Each worker on a work surface must be protected against tripping or walking through openings in or through openings.

When tools, equipment or materials such as bricks are piled higher than the top edge of a toe board, paneling , screening or safety nets must be used from the working surface or toe board to the top of the mid- or top-rail.

[Read More]

Working at heights procedure requirement

It’s better to perform all activities on the ground where possible. However, fall prevention and protection must be implemented whenever working above ground especially at height more than 1.8m above reference level is inevitable.

[Read More]

Working at height Fall protection

Fall protection measures including edge protection, guardrail system, fence, barricade or cover must be utilized as the primary fall protection systems for holes, pits, shafts and other openings. In addition, fall protection system is required when working at levels with an unprotected side or edge. Appropriate PPE required for each work shall be determined based on the level of exposure and shall be listed in the permit to work.

[Read More]

Working at height Fall prevention system

Workers with health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, psychosis, epileptic, or any of such diseases should be considered unfit for working at height.

Weather conditions should be assessed before the commencement of any height related activities. This assessment must be included as part of the safe job analysis. Permit shall not be issued for work at heights during adverse weather and if permit was already issued, it must cancel.

[Read More]

Work at height fall protection equipment

Fall prevention and protection systems must be installed when working at height. This may include a combination of the followings:

· Guardrail system

· Warning line system

· Safety full body harness

· Anchorage

· Connectors

· Lifeline

[Read More]

Maintenance and inspection of fall protection equipment

All personal fall protection equipment must be stored in a dedicated area where their integrity can be ensured.

Inspection of this equipment should follow a formal monthly schedule in addition to pre-use visual inspection by the user for wear, damage or other signs of deterioration.

[Read More]

Working at height Guardrail Systems

Permanent guardrails are often constructed as part of stairways, landings, work platforms, and equipment access platforms. Where short-term fall hazards exist, temporary guardrails are used.

Guardrails must meet certain requirements so be compliant with regulatory standards and it must consist of a top rail, mid rail and toe board. The top rail needs to be between 900 and 1000 mm above the working surface (or ground), and capable of withstanding 100 Kg or 0.980 Kn of force downward or outward.

[Read More]

Working at height temporary warning

Consisting of ropes, wires, chains and supporting props, temporary warning lines are designed for short-term hazards. They must be flagged at least every 1.8m with high-visibility material, and signage must be posted indicating controlled access during construction. Warning lines are required to be no lower than 850mm and no higher than 900mm from the walking surface.

[Read More]

Working at height toolbox talk and warning monitor

Before start of work at height, toolbox talk must be conducted to make aware all involved persons about identified hazards, risk and control measures. Warning monitors are competent personnel assigned to keep others away from a fall hazard,

[Read More]

Working at height Fall Restraint Systems

Fall restraint system inhibits a person to prevent them from falling. Fall restraint systems comprise anchorages, connectors, body belts/harnesses, lanyards, lifelines and rope grabs

[Read More]

Working at height Fall Arrest Systems

Fall arrest systems minimizes the injury to person from a free fall. Fall arrester equipment must be used correctly to prevent injury. Fall arrest equipment incorporates body support devices i.e. harnesses, lanyards and anchorages.

Working at height Body Support Devices

Body support devices are designed to place the arresting force of a fall on the strongest parts of the body. Types of body support devices are waist belts, chest harnesses and sub-pelvic full body harnesses. Waist belts are designed to be used as restraints only. They have an average of two minutes of endurance. Chest

[Read More]

Working at height Lanyards

Lanyards hook is supporting the body and are intended to stretch when loaded. The stretch slows down the impact speed and arresting the force when the person/wearer falls. A typical lanyard harness is rated for a total capacity of 140 Kg pounds. Proper length lanyard must be

[Read More]

Working at height Anchorages

Fall arrest equipment is connected to an anchorage point, which supports the equipment and the individual in the event of a fall. In certain countries, it is required that any anchorage point used for

[Read More]

Working at height |scaffolding safety

All types of scaffolding must be installed by competent and certified personnel.

All scaffoldings under erection or awaiting approval must carried boldly written signs indicating that they are not fit for usage. A harness must be worn when working at heights where there is a danger of falling.

Before starting the construction of the scaffolding, the following should have been evaluated and ensure that:

· The user and the scaffolder should agree on the dimensions of the scaffolding (area and load dimensions).

· Must notify to the site safety specialist and he must approve the activity after review of risk assessment carried out jointly by job executor.

· Review of potential conflict with other equipment has been carried out for

o electrical equipment

o escape routes

o access to safety equipment

The scaffold must be completed in such a manner that falls to lower levels are prevented. This could be done by implementing one or more of the following:

· Mounting handrails and kickboards

· Securing tools and other items

· Attaching a safety net, if necessary

[Read More]

Scaffolding Training, Competency and Supervision for working at height

· Scaffolding may only be erected, maintained, altered or dismantled under the strict personal supervision of a competent Scaffolding Supervisor (or Scaffolding Inspector) who has been appointed in writing.

Scaffolding may only be erected, maintained, altered or dismantled by competent and appointed Scaffolding Erectors (or Scaffolding Builders). It is

[Read More]

Safety measures during erection and dismantling of Scaffold

· Only approved scaffolding components may be used to erect a scaffold. Scaffolding must be erected, modified and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines or recommendations, and in strict compliance with all applicable legislation and standards.

· A free-standing scaffold must not exceed a height of three times the smallest dimension of its base.

Scaffolds with a height to base width ratio of more than 3:1 must be restrained from tipping over by guying, tying, or bracing. Guy wires and ties prevent scaffolding from tipping away from

[Read More]

Precautions during special conditions for leaving unattended unsafe scaffold

Scaffold Must be:

· Left partially erected or partially dismantled except for normal work stoppages (for example, over weekends) and then, at the very least, the scaffolding must be adequately braced to ensure that it does not present a hazard;

Left in an unsafe condition (if scaffolding is unavoidably in an unsafe condition, barricading must

[Read More]

Mobile scaffolding safety

Mobile scaffolding must be equipped with brakes, which must be engaged at all times when

[Read More]

Safe Access to Scaffolding

· Safe and convenient access must be provided to every scaffold platform by means of properly installed ladders or approved stairways, which must remain unobstructed at all times. Climbing up or down a scaffold on the braces or ledgers is forbidden.

All ladders used to access scaffolding must be securely attached to the

[Read More]

Safe Scaffolding Platforms | Deck board

· Safe work platforms must be provided.

· Every work platform must be complete (i.e. from ledger to ledger and from transom to transom without any gaps) in order to prevent personnel, materials, tools, etc. from falling through the platform.

Every work platform

[Read More]

Inspection of Scaffolding

· Every scaffold structure must be inspected by a competent Scaffolding Supervisor:

o Prior to use after erection, and at least weekly thereafter;

o After inclement weather (heavy rain, strong winds, etc.);

o After any incident resulting in jarring, tilting or overloading;

o After any alteration is made; and

o Before being dismantled.

On completion

[Read More]

Scaffolding Components or Parts — Identification and Inspection

· All scaffolding components belonging to a contractor must be properly marked or uniquely coloured to enable positive identification.

· Prior to erecting a scaffold, all scaffolding components must be carefully inspected by a competent Scaffolding Supervisor.

Components found to be defective [Read More]

Safety in scaffolding uses | Responsibility of user | Scaffolding Do and Don’t

· The user of a scaffold (i.e. the responsible supervisor) must inspect the erected structure prior to acceptance and must ensure, as far as is reasonably possible, that the scaffold is safe and fit for purpose before allowing his team to make use of the scaffold.

In particular, the user must ensure that:

The scaffold and the platforms have been constructed to meet the loading requirements [Read More]

Storage of Scaffolding Components or parts

· All scaffolding components must be stored in a demarcated storage area in such a manner that they are not exposed to environmental extremes and will not cause injury to persons. Suitable barricading or fencing must be erected and warning signage must be posted (e.g. No Unauthorized Entry).

· Within a storage area, scaffolding components must be stacked such that pathways (750mm in width) are maintained between the stacks. Each stack must be stable and components must be neatly placed to ensure that no ends protrude into any pathway. The various components must be stacked separately.

The weight of scaffolding components must be considered when stacking them in elevated [Read More]

Ladders Safety | Working at heights

Ladders may be used for carrying out simple jobs, however with approval, adequate controls and supervision by experienced personnel. Ladders, when approved for use, must always be secured to ensure they do not slip during operation and they must be laid flat on the identified storage area when not in use.

Portable ladder safety | Portable Ladders Hazard and risk control

· A formal and documented risk assessment must show that no practical alternatives exist before a ladder can be used.

· A good handhold must be available all the time

· Ladders must be checked by the user for general condition prior to each use.

Use of Ladder must be followed in accordance to the manufacturer’s specifications [Read More]

Extension ladder safety | Extension Ladders Hazard and risk control

· Extension ladders must be tied off (secured) at the top and bottom at all times unless the ladder is being used for short duration work and is being stabilized by another worker.

One worker must hold the ladder [Read More]

Portable ladder Safety for Short term work

Workers performing “light duty work” from a portable ladder at a height of 6 feet or greater, where the ladder will be at any one spot for sporadic, short-term work must follow the guideline below:

· The work should be reached without stretching

The worker must have one hand available to hold on to the ladder or other support to maintain three [Read More]

2020 General Ladder safety Tips

· All ladders must be numbered, listed in a register, and inspected by a competent person on a monthly basis (the results of each inspection must be recorded in the register).

· Before using a ladder, the user must inspect it for damage.

· Ladders with missing, broken, cracked or loose rungs, split stiles, missing or broken spreaders (stepladders) or any other form of damage or defect must not be used.

A damaged ladder must be [Read More]

Working at height dropped objects prevention

The following should be followed to prevent dropped objects when working at height where dropped objects hazard has been identified in a formal and documented risk assessment.

· All tools, materials required for use at height must be secured in tool bags and or boxes.

· No tools or materials should be delivered by throwing to anyone working at height.

All heavy tools or materials which [Read More]


Working at height is risky job and require intensive safety measures to safeguard the persons. OHSA and National Safety Council declared that most of accident occurred worldwide due to failure in fall protection standards. These incidences alerting employers to assure safety measures while working at height. By ensuring best safety standard in workplace while working at height viz. safe scaffolding, safe ladders, edge fall protections, lifeline, [Read More]

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HSE and Fire Engineers over 17 years of multifaceted experience in Oil & Gas, enjoy sharing free knowledge on HSE and fire protection.

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