Precautions to Take When Working at Height in the Summer
The majority of construction workers eagerly anticipate the warm months of summer. This primarily arises from the fact that they will no longer be exposed to extremely cold temperatures and similar conditions. However, we need to keep in mind that safety precautions while working at height during pleasant weather are just as important to recognise in order to avoid potentially serious injuries. There are also concerns altogether specific to warmer temperatures that should likewise be examined in order to fully appreciate the dangers of working at height. What safety precautions while working at height should be addressed? Let us highlight some professional suggestions with our expert advice.
Working at Height Health and Safety: The Initial Assessment
A risk assessment should always be carried out before any work takes place to establish any potential hazards when you are working at a height. There are several metrics that need to be carefully identified well in advance including:
- What are the hazards of working at height during extreme temperatures?
- Are severe weather conditions (such as excessive heat or thunderstorms) predicted?
- What nearby dangers may be present (such as the proximity of dangerous machinery or overhead power lines)?
In order to fully understand the dangers of working at height, all employees should be aware of any potential risks and actively take precautions to avoid these risks.
Protection From the Elements
Working at height health and safety recommendations will obviously take into account serious dangers such as heat, sunlight and humidity. As these are often encountered at excessive levels during the summer months, employees should follow the proper guidelines. They must be able to discern the first signs of heat exhaustion before it evolves into heatstroke. Protective apparel such as sunglasses and hats may also be required on occasion. Sunscreen is recommended during peak hours, generally between eleven o’clock in the morning and three o’clock in the afternoon.
The Importance of Personal Protective Equipment
Some employees may be tempted to flout heat-related safety precautions when working at height if the temperatures begin to rise. They could be apt to remove critical equipment such as harnesses, hardhats and gloves. Unfortunately, such habits will only increase the chances of an accident that could have otherwise been avoided. It is the responsibility of management to ensure that the proper on-site regulations in relation to the presence of PPE are enforced at all times. Safety procedures when working at a height need to be followed through to avoid unnecessary hazards.
The Proper and Safe Use of Equipment
This next recommendation applies to all seasons of the year and it should once again be highlighted in relation to the summer months. The dangers of working at height can be increased if machinery is used in an improper manner. This includes (but is certainly not limited to):
- Mechanical lifts
- Cranes and booms
- Ladders and scaffolding
There may be other temperature-related concerns such as the possibility of an engine overheating. Some equipment could likewise need to be stored away as opposed to remaining in the direct sunlight. Thus, the proper training and oversight should be implemented so that such situations can be avoided.
Lesser-Known Risk Factors
Safety precautions while working at height need to highlight a handful of seemingly trivial hazards and concerns. These can also pose dangers. Examples include extremely dusty environments that may limit visibility and cracked ground that could lead to instability issues. Even a strong breeze could cause a worker to lose balance or a scaffold to come loose from its moorings.
What are the Hazards of Working at Height? Planning Ahead
Supervisors should implement the proper safety precautions while working at height well before a project begins. This is why planning is important to avoiding hazards when working at a height. What is the short-term weather forecast? Will temperatures exceed safe limits? What type of machinery is needed and have these units been designed to operate in hot conditions? Answering these and similar questions will save time while ensuring that working at height health and safety concerns are addressed.
Safety Precautions While Working at Height: Other Useful Suggestions
A handful of additional recommendations should be implemented during warm conditions. It is important for employees to take regular breaks in order to avoid overheating. A supply of fresh drinking water must always be made available. Rest areas shaded from harsh sunlight are likewise critical. Even those who wish to continue working should take mandatory breaks, as the symptoms of heatstroke can appear without warning.
What are the hazards of working at height during the summer?
We have examined some of the most pertinent concerns. Whether you require reliable cranes to tackle a challenging project or you are curious to obtain additional health and safety advice, the experts at Emerson Cranes are here to help. Contact a member of our team today on 020 8059 2560 to find out more about our services and how we can help with your crane hire needs. We look forward to hearing from you.