ECN Forum

Safety at heights?

Posted By: Trumpy

Safety at heights? - 01/19/17 01:25 PM

Folks,
I do a lot of work in my normal job that makes me work at heights, this could be anything from 3 metres (9') off the ground, up to 12 metres (36').
Just a question for you folks, if you guys have to do this sort of thing, how do you approach this?
Obviously there will be a harness, a safety line and some sort of lanyard/ fall arrest unit.
I'm not intrinsically sure what OSHA say about this sort of thing in the US, but I do know here, the person who is expected to do the work needs to have a work plan and a rescue plan, in case something goes wrong.
The floor is open for comments.................
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Safety at heights? - 01/20/17 03:16 AM

In Florida there are lots of rules, not a lot of compliance.
Posted By: Trumpy

Re: Safety at heights? - 01/21/17 05:13 AM

Greg,
That worries me somewhat, because there aren't a lot of accidents at work that will injure you as badly as a fall from height, especially if you fall on your head.

I've done a lot of lines rescue stuff with the NZ fire service here when people get themselves into trouble in various places, but it's sort of like when people are at work, they use the cheapest available harnesses and never get them inspected, so things wear out and when someone does have a fall, the harness breaks it's stitching.

The old "she'll be right" attitude really needs to be turned around.
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Safety at heights? - 01/21/17 10:19 AM

This all comes down to who the job super is and how well they monitor their sites. It is usually the one shot jobs like replacing an existing roof or tree trimming where I see the worst violations. I have never seen a roofer tied off and I see tree trimmers free climbing with a chain saw. In our (USA) litigious environment, the homeowner better be very sure his trades are licensed and insured.
That said, I still see guys on big projects who are not following proper procedures more often than I should.
Posted By: HotLine1

Re: Safety at heights? - 01/22/17 04:51 AM

Trumpy:

As Greg said,it's dependent on the jobsite here also. (NJ)

Lately, OSHA has generated a lot of publicity and large fines, mostly for unsafe excavations/trenching. A few days ago, $78,500 to one sewer contractor, no shoring, and lack of safety equipment (retrieval gear). No doubt the fine will be appealed, and a settlement with no liability will be the usual outcome.

I expect to see them whenever there is any type of incident that results in damages or injuries.

Posted By: Trumpy

Re: Safety at heights? - 01/30/17 11:55 AM

Greg,
I fully understand what you're saying, I mean, everyone wants to go home in the same state they came to work, with all their fingers, arms, legs and stuff like that.
But every now and then there will be a crew of guys that will do the job so much cheaper, no safety gear or an observer (especially trimming trees around live 22kV lines), a branch fell over two phases. and the guy tried to pull the branch off as it was burning, with his bare hand, he died on the spot, after the current went through his shoes.
Why is this stuff so difficult to get into people's heads?
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Safety at heights? - 01/31/17 07:03 AM

A lot of our workers come from south of the border where safety is an afterthought and they bring that culture with them. It is hard to get them with the program and unfortunately there were plenty of anglo managers who just think "there are more where he came from". The attitude is turning but there is nothing like an OSHA "go team" who show up after an accident to mold there opinion. Once they are in town, they hit as many jobs as they can before they move on to the next accident.
Usually they get pretty good compliance with hard hats and footwear. Other PPE and fall protection seems to be a little less prevalent. I still see guys walking the beam with a concrete hose fairly regularly. The best the super can do is be sure the ground around the wall is policed up so they won't land on broken block and rebar if they fall. Nobody wants to set up 150-200 feet of scaffolding to pump a truckload or two of concrete.
Posted By: Potseal

Re: Safety at heights? - 06/01/17 12:02 AM

Originally Posted by Trumpy
Greg,
I fully understand what you're saying, I mean, everyone wants to go home in the same state they came to work, with all their fingers, arms, legs and stuff like that.
But every now and then there will be a crew of guys that will do the job so much cheaper, no safety gear or an observer (especially trimming trees around live 22kV lines), a branch fell over two phases. and the guy tried to pull the branch off as it was burning, with his bare hand, he died on the spot, after the current went through his shoes.
Why is this stuff so difficult to get into people's heads?


It's amazing what some people will do when they panic or just don't stop and think.

Our shop's safety officer will routinely jump in a vehicle and not wear a seat belt because we're travelling a distance that is a few minutes away (unless I'm driving then we don't move until it's on). But get caught without hearing protection or such and he's all over you.
Posted By: Potseal

Re: Safety at heights? - 06/01/17 12:12 AM

Back to the topic...

I once had a long debate with one of my former bosses, who at the time was really trying to enforce safety in the workplace (which was great), about the hypocrisy of the rules when it comes to Baker's scaffolding. I was working on a site where guys were installing suspended ceiling using it. For those not familiar it is a platform on wheels that is about 6 feet high. In the OH&S rules regarding it there does not need to be a safety railing and you do not need to be tied off. How is that possible? A safety trainer told me himself that a local tradesman died after taking a header off of one. Anybody see Baker's scaffolding used in a similar manner?
Posted By: HotLine1

Re: Safety at heights? - 06/01/17 10:23 PM

I don't know the OSHA reg, but all the Baker scaffolds that I used when I operated my EC business had safety rails, and toe guards on the upper level. Also there were outriggers that were put on when the units were two (2) sections high (11' +/-). The OSHA inspector looked at it at least two or three times at different sites and did not have anything to say.

However, he did write a 'warning' for a cracked brim on a hard hat.

I do not know about a tie off, or where you could install a tie off on a lot of sites.

A big 'yay' for scissor lifts, genie 1-mans, and tele snorkels. Makes life a lot easier.
Posted By: SteveFehr

Re: Safety at heights? - 06/01/17 11:22 PM

Originally Posted by Potseal
Originally Posted by Trumpy
Greg,
I fully understand what you're saying, I mean, everyone wants to go home in the same state they came to work, with all their fingers, arms, legs and stuff like that.
But every now and then there will be a crew of guys that will do the job so much cheaper, no safety gear or an observer (especially trimming trees around live 22kV lines), a branch fell over two phases. and the guy tried to pull the branch off as it was burning, with his bare hand, he died on the spot, after the current went through his shoes.
Why is this stuff so difficult to get into people's heads?


It's amazing what some people will do when they panic or just don't stop and think.

Our shop's safety officer will routinely jump in a vehicle and not wear a seat belt because we're travelling a distance that is a few minutes away (unless I'm driving then we don't move until it's on). But get caught without hearing protection or such and he's all over you.
I read an interesting academic study about safety a few years ago: the researchers discovered people simply do not accurately assess personal risk, and that the only reason most people wear proper PPE and follow proper safety precautions is because their boss forces them to.

People get complacent and won't on their own take measures to increase their safety, but they will if their boss keeps giving them crap and threatening disciplinary action if they don't. Safety standdowns and constantly stressing safety were found do do jack squat to worker compliance, but the researchers found management pressure helped change culture at the supervisory level, and supervisors being hardasses had a big impact to safety and reduction of injuries. So, you bosses out there? Keep giving your people crap about hardhats, safety glasses, muffs, and fall protection! And if you're your own boss? Do it anyway. Stay safe out there, friends!
Posted By: ohranatruda21

Re: Safety at heights? - 08/24/18 05:22 PM


Средства индивидуальной защиты - вот, то что нужно для обеспечения безопасности на высоте, а для агитации безопасности на высоте применять плакаты по охране труда

К работе на высоте допущен должен быть только обученный персонал и у них обязательно должно быть Удостоверение


Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Safety at heights? - 08/24/18 06:53 PM

Now the Russians are meddling in our erections (scaffold erections that is) wink
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Safety at heights? - 08/24/18 06:55 PM

For those Russian impaired it says
Means of individual protection - that's what you need to ensure safety at altitude, and for campaigning at the height of safety to apply posters on labor protection

To work at the height, only trained personnel should be admitted and they must have a Certificate
Posted By: sabrown

Re: Safety at heights? - 08/24/18 09:19 PM

Thanks for the translation.

Shane
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Safety at heights? - 08/25/18 04:26 PM

Google to the rescue. That is what they say it means but like most literal translations the grammar may be a little fractured. It does sound like the same kind of legal boiler plate we see here tho.
Posted By: HotLine1

Re: Safety at heights? - 08/25/18 08:06 PM

Trumpy:

Back to your starting post.

My procedure for myself and my Inspectors when lifts, snorkels are required is OSHA Regs must be followed, Harness & lanyard and tie-off to the work platform.

Roof access via interior ladders should also follow the regs, most are <50’, and most (not all) have landings 1/2 or 1/3 of the heights to catch a breath. This is usually for inspections of roof top HVAC units or similar mechanicals.

The large, ‘long term’ solar jobs have been installing exterior scaffolding type full blown staircases. Lifts to get the crew up consume time, for waiting for accent and decent, and capacity. I guess there is a financial incentive to the staircase. Me, I’m tired and us the lift or snorkel before the 1M Sq Ft roof walk.

Oh yes, all inspectors have hard hats, flame retardant safety vests, glasses, gloves, ear protection. Fire extinguishers and First aid kits in each vehicle.
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Safety at heights? - 08/26/18 12:40 AM

That 4 plex we are building is an OSHA nightmare. I don't really have any authority to do anything. I am not the builder, the inspector or the job super. We are just watching the place. It took us almost a month to get rails on a 3 story staircase. (the one my dog rappelled down on a retracto leash) The 1st floor is 16 feet so it is higher than it sounds.
Right now the have a 3 story scaffold up and the stucco guys are working without any fall protection at all. I also have not seen a hard hat on anyone but me. They give me a funny look.
There is a lull on site and that is the elevator.
I am still waiting to see how they will provide access to the condensers hanging on the side of the building, 16 feet up.
Maybe you have to climb out the window.
Posted By: Trumpy

Re: Safety at heights? - 08/26/18 02:08 AM

Originally Posted by Potseal

It's amazing what some people will do when they panic or just don't stop and think.

Our shop's safety officer will routinely jump in a vehicle and not wear a seat belt because we're travelling a distance that is a few minutes away (unless I'm driving then we don't move until it's on). But get caught without hearing protection or such and he's all over you.


Dwayne,
There is absolutely NO reason in this day and age where people should be in a moving vehicle with no seat-belt on.
I had an apprentice once that used to do the same thing every time he'd get in the passengers seat of my work ute,
I happened to say to him about this one day, as it was getting really tiring asking him to put his seat-belt on, constantly.
Upon asking him wether his attitude to electrical safety was the same as his attitude to wearing a seat-belt and why there seemed to be a difference, he couldn't give me a definitive answer to that, but the seat-belt started getting used all the time after that. cool

Originally Posted by SteveFehr

I read an interesting academic study about safety a few years ago: the researchers discovered people simply do not accurately assess personal risk, and that the only reason most people wear proper PPE and follow proper safety precautions is because their boss forces them to.

Yeah Steve, I see this all the time, I mean seriously, if you're complaining that your earmuffs make your ears sweat or your hard-hat messes your hair-do up, you need to take stock of your career choice. grin
The attitude that a person only wears PPE, because their employer requires them to, is totally wrong.
I have been in so many dangerous situations in my working life that to NOT wear the appropriate PPE, seems not only stupid, but bordering on criminal negligence, should an accident occur.
Over here in New Zealand, it is the employer that will get stung with HUGE fines by WorkSafe here, not the employee that was not intelligent enough to follow common-sense, when working with an elevated risk level.
Posted By: Trumpy

Re: Safety at heights? - 08/26/18 02:42 AM

Originally Posted by HotLine1
Trumpy:

My procedure for myself and my Inspectors when lifts, snorkels are required is OSHA Regs must be followed, Harness & lanyard and tie-off to the work platform.

Oh yes, all inspectors have hard hats, flame retardant safety vests, glasses, gloves, ear protection. Fire extinguishers and First aid kits in each vehicle.


Absolutely John,
I was lucky that I had a lot of training in height safety with the then NZ Fire Service (it's now rebranded as Fire And Emergency NZ), before I was even an electrical worker and to be honest, I didn't really like heights that I used to experience with the Fire Service, especially up on turntable ladders and Snorkels and I mean, if you're stupid enough to not wear your fall harness on something that is 30m (90') in the air and it moves backwards and forwards as the water pressure is adjusted and get thrown off, you pretty much only have yourself to blame.

One hard-case thing I did see a couple of years ago, it was totally WRONG and a builder got prosecuted for it.
There was a supposedly 6kN tie-off point on a local building here, which is fine if you're on the the side of the parapet wall and need to use the eyelet to clip your lanyard to, this had a piece of 17mm plywood on the outer side of the parapet wall, I thought this was for some sort of decoration.
On the other side of the wall, there was another piece of plywood, I grabbed the eyelet and the plywood on the inside of the wall disintegrated, having not been sealed or painted at all, allowing me to pull the whole thing out.
Now, I'm pretty sure I cannot generate 6 tonnes of lateral force with one arm, hence this was investigated and the builder was found to have done the job wrong.
Posted By: gfretwell

Re: Safety at heights? - 08/28/18 03:18 AM

We had an arc flash incident here and everyone was shocked. My first question was why a guy was working hot in a 1600a switchboard without PPE and people just look me like "What do you mean"?
There are lots of cowboys around here who do not have a clue about safety.
I used to work for a big company that made safety a condition of employment and my wife carried that on to the big company she built houses for. (no PPE, get off the job site until you get it, sort of thing)
She used to condemn bad extension cords, stop people from making home built ladders and scaffolding on drywall buckets. Everyone wears real footwear, hardhats as soon as the walls are up and safety glasses.
I have safety glasses with me all the time (my sunglasses) and to this day I wear no metal. (I saw a ring melt on a guys finger once).
It seems to be the little shops and sole proprietors who don't care. I guess they are not attracting enough attention from the insurance company or they think they are supposed to pay out the nose. In a big company, there is money to be saved if you can demonstrate an effective safety program. I guess the OSHA fines may be higher too.
Posted By: ghost307

Re: Safety at heights? - 08/28/18 04:31 PM

I had a solution for the sweaty ears problem when I worked in a metal stamping plant.
Wad up a few layers of TP and stick them in the cups.
It sucked up the sweat and was simple enough to change when needed (which in summer could be every hour or so).
Posted By: Trumpy

Re: Safety at heights? - 04/01/20 02:10 AM

Originally Posted by gfretwell

I used to work for a big company that made safety a condition of employment and my wife carried that on to the big company she built houses for. (no PPE, get off the job site until you get it, sort of thing)
She used to condemn bad extension cords, stop people from making home built ladders and scaffolding on drywall buckets. Everyone wears real footwear, hardhats as soon as the walls are up and safety glasses.
I have safety glasses with me all the time (my sunglasses) and to this day I wear no metal. (I saw a ring melt on a guys finger once).

Greg,
I like you and your wife's attitude, if you can't turn up to your normal work day with the required PPE, in my opinion, you have no reason being there, no matter what you are employed as.

I once saw a guy using a 9" angle grinder, years ago, he had safety glasses on and a flip-up visor on over the top of it.
The guy working about 9' away from him had no safety gear on at all, apart from some gloves, I think.
The cut-off disc the guy was using shattered at full speed, the guy without the PPE on copped a large piece of it between the eyes and there were bits imbedded in each eye.
All we could do was stop the bleeding and put two doughnut bandages over both eyes until the ambulance arrived.
The guy that was wearing the PPE, ended up with a shard of the disc embedded in the visor, he gave us a hand to load the other guy into the ambulance.
The other guy lost an eye and needed surgery on his eye socket in the other one.
PPE is so simple to wear, so easy to put on, only an idiot would not want to use it.
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