Looking After All Lifting Equipment for Australian Height Safety
Working with all lifting equipment can be hazardous if not done properly and should always be treated with caution.
Working at height also carries hazards of its own. Safe working instructions and the proper use of safety equipment will go a long way to ensuring that accidents don’t happen at your site.
Identifying Hazards Upfront
According to the Australian government site “Safe Work Australia” working at heights is the principal cause of death and injuries in the country. Australian height safety regulations require an employer to identify all possible hazards on the site before operations begin.
Employers must identify all risks and eliminate all hazards as far as possible before work commences. You should include all lifting equipment in the risk assessment. According to legislation, the employer has a duty of care in ensuring that all equipment and work processes are safe for use. Bear in mind that all lifting equipment is inherently a risk.
All lifting equipment must be well maintained. It must be carefully inspected before each use and the load must never exceed the Working Load Limit, which should be displayed on all lifting equipment. Employees must be involved and included in the safety risk assessment.
Australian Height Safety Regulations
Australian height safety regulations kick in at two metres, but serious injuries can occur from heights of less than two metres, so lower heights should also receive attention during the risk assessment. Wherever possible workers should work on the ground. If this is not possible Australian height safety legislation insists that safe access to the place of work must be provided. Fall prevention or fall arrest devices must be provided and worn.
If your business requires people to work at a height you can help ensure that your premises comply with Australian height safety regulations by employing the services of professional height safety inspector. The height safety inspector can help you to determine what type of safety equipment you require. They can also help you to install it properly.
All Lifting Equipment Safe Working Practice
Lifting equipment includes all machines used to lift or lower loads of materials or people. Accessories and attachments such as anchors of all lifting equipment whether manual or electrical can fail and cause accidents on construction sites. The risks involved in using all lifting equipment on site include:
- Falling from lifting platforms
- Shifting or falling loads
- Loads that exceed safe weight limits
- Collapsing structures.
It is good practice to nominate a competent person who will take responsibility for all lifting equipment. Train all users of lifting equipment in the safe operation of the equipment. Monitor procedures on a regular basis to confirm that all lifting equipment is used according to safe work procedures. Ensure that there is an established code of signals for moving loads. Ensure that all lifting equipment is safely installed and in good working condition.
Develop a Culture of Safety
Accidents can happen, but by developing a culture of safety and following safe work procedures when operating all lifting equipment, the chances of one happening on your site will be greatly reduced. Safe lifting equipment and complying with relevant legislation is a must for Australian height safety.
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