When working at a height, even a few feet, safety precautions need to be taken. Most workers underestimate the seriousness of working at a height, expecially if the height is only a few feet. But falling even 3-4 feet can cause broken bones and even concussions.
All work is planned.
All workers are competent.
The surface is secure and non-slip.
Install handrails if possible, or a strong rope or a chain.
Avoid working in poorly lit conditions.
Avoid working in poor weather, if outside, e.g. rain, wind.
Use properly secuded ladderst to reach surface.
If material needs to be lifted or lowered use proper hoisting techniques. Do not throw it down and do not climb while holding it.
Do not stand on fragile surfaces unless it has been properly reinforced.
The platform should be large enough to stand on without getting close to the edge.
Fall Arrest Systems
This is a system where a worker uses a harness and is secured onto an immovable object, via a proper rope. Some examples of when this system is used: working on the roof of a house, climbing on a hydro pole, on a building being constructed.
This safety system is complicated and needs proper equipment as well as training by a professional. This method should not be used by only reading about it.
Basic things to know
The system must be such so the worker does not hit a surface if he falls.
The system must be such so there is some give in the mechanism, otherwise a lot of force will need to be absorbed by the body, which can lead to injury even though there is no direct contact with the ground.
If any damage is evident the equipment must be replaced immediately.
If the equipment has been subjected to a fall, it must be replaced immediately.
Inspect equipment daily.
Do not attach such a system to anything that moves or that may come lose.
The equipment that will be needed is:
An attachment location.
A body harness.
A vertical lifeline, also called a lanyard.
A horizontal lifeline.
Reminder, a professional should be consulted to train workers who to use this type of tool. Do NOT attempt this without proper training.
Secure the ladder at the top so it will not slide sideways.
Someone should be at the foot of the ladder holding the ladder with both hands.
Use ladders that have rubber non-slip feet.
Do not use ladders on snow, ice, or other slippery surface.
The base of the ladder, from the wall, should be ¼ of the height of the ladder. E.g. if the height is 8 feet, the ladder legs should be 2 feet from the wall.
Do not use near electical wires.
Do not move a ladder when it is extended.
Do not use a ladder other than for its intended use, e.g. as a scaffold.
Do not carry objects while climbing a ladder.
Do not over reach on a ladder.
Washing windows of high-rise buildings can be quite the experience. But, obviously, it also has its risks. To make such work safet the following recommendations should be followed;
All workers must be competent and of legal working age.
All workers must be trained on how to use all the equipment available.
All workers must obtain certification where applicable.
All workers should be totally free of drugs and alcohol, and should not be fatigued.
Roof anchors, window cleaner belt anchors, ladders, etc., must be used at all times.
All equipment should be inspected regularly by a competent workers that is not pressured in any way.
If equipment needs repair seek professional help.
Fall arrest systems should be implemented.
Beware of extreme weather conditions and the effects on the body. E.g. these workers are more susceptible to wind and cold weather.