When working at heights exceeding two meters, Australia’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulations requires all workers to implement proper fall prevention strategies. Having the right tools and equipment can save lives. Understanding the type of fall equipment and tools that are recommended can help you comply with the regulations to prevent getting fined, and to avoid tragic accidents.
This article will look at the 3 most commonly recommended equipment and tools for working on rooftops:
Safety Meshes to Catch Falls Indoors
Safety meshes are basically designed to prevent falls from the roof for if you were to fall into the home. They offer long-term protection for workers who are building or reconstructing an otherwise unstable roof. The safety mesh should be made from wire with a diameter of no less than 2 mm and with a capability of handling at least 450 megapascals tensile strength.
Extreme caution must be executed to ensure that the safety meshes are securely connected to the adjacent structures. In addition, there should be sufficient overlap between adjoining meshes to handle the forces of a person falling.
Guard Rails for the Edges
As safety meshes can only prevent internal falls, it is crucial to place barriers at the edge of the rooftops to prevent falls from the edges. All workers must only work on the sides that have guard rails set up. Guard rails are highly recommended because they are cost-efficient and effective. They are the preferred safety equipment over fall arrest harnesses, static lines and other safety equipment and tools.
The guard rails chosen must comply with AS 1657-2013, and be strong and corrosion-resistant. Guard rails must be installed by professionals to ensure utmost stability and security.
Just in case your workers fall over the guard rails, have catch platforms set up. These temporary platforms are placed below the work area to catch workers in the event of a fall, and should be positioned as close to the underside as possible. The catch platform has a portion that extends out to catch the fallen workers.
The catch platforms must be constructed to handle the maximum potential impact load, which will vary for each construction project. Catch platforms can also act as scaffolding, which gives them a dual purpose.
If you are unsure whether the height safety equipment and tools are integrated properly at your construction site, speak with a professional height safety company immediately. It is best to take the time and effort to reinforce the safety equipment to ensure proper protection to prevent an unexpected and tragic accident occurring. Contact a company like Australian Height Safety Services to learn more.