Freak accidents can happen whether you’re working on the ground or at great heights. Yet companies could avoid many workplace accidents with adequate preparation.
Employers are obliged to provide you with a safe environment when working. They need to take extra care if they are asking you to work off the ground. Even a relatively low fall could be lethal or leave you with severe, life-long injuries.
Preparation is key to avoiding falls
When you are at height is not the time to start thinking about safety. You and your employer need to have thought about it long before anyone leaves the ground. Here are some things to consider when planning work at any height:
- Is it necessary? A carpenter standing on a ladder to bang nails into a roof frame might be entirely avoidable if you can construct the frame on the ground, then use a crane to lift it into place once complete.
- What is the safest way to get to that height? Ladders are quick and cheap, yet they are a risk. Scaffolding takes time to erect but provides more safety. Mobile platforms offer more protection but cost more to hire. Employers need to weigh up risk against cost when budgeting for a project.
- Do workers have the necessary training to work at heights? Working off the ground requires a new set of skills. Giving someone a harness and telling them to get on with it is not acceptable. If you do not know how to buckle the harness correctly, it could come loose and lead to a fall. Training is crucial.
If you fall from a height at work, it is important to understand how to file your workers’ compensation claim to get maximum compensation for your injuries. Exploring all possible avenues of compensation is your right.