We said in our previous issue that inattention is a major contributor to fall-related injuries. When moving from a secure point (where you’re attached by a lanyard) to another point, carefully examine where you’re going before moving there. Don’t let your mind wander to your after work plans (a fall will ruin those plans, anyhow), and definitely don’t be on your cell phone. Don’t even discuss the work. Focus entirely on getting safely from where you are now to where you are going.
We also said in our previous issue that some dangers aren’t your fault. However, many people assume because a danger exists there’s nothing they can do about it. The reality is that anyone working at height can eliminate fall hazards. Let’s look at a few aspects of doing so.
- Partial elimination. You can eliminate part(s) of the hazard, thereby reducing your total hazard exposure. The most common way is to shift elevation work to the ground. For example, mount and wire devices in a panel in the shop rather than on a ladder.
- Total elimination. Why is that panel on the elevation? Redesigning the system to put things at ground level wherever practical eliminates fall hazards for both installation and subsequent maintenance.
- Method elimination. Change your work methods to, for example, raise and lower parts in a bucket rather than climbing with them in your pockets or hands.
- Workflow preparation. Eliminate travel to and from the elevation by planning for, and raising to it, the needed tools, parts, and test equipment.