When working from heights a Fall Protection Plan must be implemented. Working at heights is one of the most dangerous work activities that one can partake in. It is a job that needs skill, knowledge, fitness and a positive state of mind. One mistake can lead to a fatality.
Health and safety compliance: Fall Protection Plan
Safety measures should be put in place and this can be achieved by drafting a Fall Protection Plan. This plan will go a long way in ensuring that falls will be prevented and that clear procedures are followed should it still happen.
The Fall Protection Plan must at least include the following:
1. Specific site and specific job information. It must clearly indicate for which site it was drafted for and also include the activities of that particular site.
2. Hazard identification. This must specifically identify the entire hazards associated with that particular working site. The plan can include the location and dimensions of such hazards. Examples are elevator shaft, stairwell, and perimeter edge.
3. Methods of fall arrest to be used. These are different kinds of preventions that are implemented with regards to identified hazards. Examples are position lanyard, self-retracting lifeline, rope grab, horizontal lifeline etc.
4. Assembly, maintenance, inspection and dis-assembly procedures for the above methods. Assembling and disassembling must be done according to manufacturers' procedures. The importance of material safety data sheets is highlighted here. Training should be provided for all employees on safe use of equipment.
5. Safe work procedures for employees working from heights
6. Handling and proper storage of tools and protective equipment used to prevent or limit the impact from falls. Better storage means lifespan longevity.
7. Overhead protection. This refers to protection provided to safe guard those working on ground levels below employees working on heights. Risk assessment. The risks and potential risks of a site must be evaluated from time to time.
8. Rescue Plan. This plan must determine the procedures to be followed in case of an incident happened e.g. how to rescue a person hanging after falling from a height within a short time.
9. Emergency Plan. How to safely evacuate the premises
It is essential that the Fall Protection Plan is communicated to all persons involved. Adherence to the Fall Protection Plan must be enforced. A Fall Protection Plan must be present at all times at a site where work is conducted.
The Fall Protection Plan must also address the process of evaluating employee's physical and psychological fitness to work at heights. Some medical conditions prohibit employees to work at heights.
Medical conditions that will make a person unfit for work at heights are:
1. Hypertension/High Blood pressure,
4. Heart Diseases,
5. Fear of Heights
It is not advisable for any person who may suffer from these conditions and under no circumstances to work at heights, even if they are treated by a medical professional. Some medication has side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness or blurred vision. These can be fatal for someone who works at heights.
MAKROSAFE as a health and safety practicing Institute has the expertise to help companies put together comprehensive Fall Protection Plan in their workplaces. They will first assess and evaluate the nature of your activities so that the correct Fall Protection Plan is implemented.
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