13. MANAGING FALL RISK 64 13. Managing Fall Risk Whenever there is a risk of falling, it is necessary to assess the risk before attempting the job, to identify the methods how to eliminate the risk. If it is not possible to eliminate the risk, choose necessary protective equipment. If you need to use safety harness or any other type of fall protection equipment, get instructions how to use them. Safety harness must be suitable for the job and inspected. The primary way of preventing falls is to use structural solutions, such as scaffolds and guardrails. If it has not been possible to eliminate risk of falling, then it is necessary to use a personal fall arrest system. Use always a safety harness when working near unrestricted lifting openings. Scaffolding and working at heights Scaffolding should be erected for any work that can’t otherwise be done safely. Only authorized people are allowed to erect, move, or take down the scaffolding. Any openings and edges of scaffolding work platforms and passageways should be protected with handrails or some other type of guard. Guardrails must have a top rail, mid rail and a toe board. Most fatal accidents happen when falling from heights of less than 3 meters. Open edges of the working level must be protected with guardrails if the free fall is over 2 meters. Guardrail must be also established if the span between the wall and working level (20 cm) causes risk of falling to people or objects. Even scaffold working levels lower than 2 meters must be protected with guardrails if there is a risk of falling. The scaffold working levels should be secured to the scaffold frame. The best way to climb onto the scaffold and blocks is the stairs. When working at heights, pay special attention to keep the floor clean and in order. It could be disastrous if you tripped or fell or if any objects should fall. Be especially cautious when pulling hoses or cables. They could cause outfitting material, tools, and other objects to fall. Never pull cables or hoses along the ladders or over the guardrails.
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