Working at height is a common occurrence on construction sites. Unfortunately, this comes with many risks to the employees involved. Are you aware employers should take it upon themselves to create a safe working environment for their workers?
Purchasing the right height safety equipment is the first step. But proper care and maintenance of the equipment is equally important. Employers should follow the correct routine maintenance instructions to ensure that their equipment is always in good working condition.
Failure to do so may lead to spending huge amounts of money on future costly equipment repairs. Worse still, you’re endangering your workers’ lives.
In this article we’ll be listing a few important tips you must incorporate to ensure that your safety equipment is always in prime condition.
Read the User Manual
Before we go any further, the first thing you need to do is read the instruction manual every time you purchase new equipment. This is important regardless of how many times you’ve used similar machinery or equipment before.
Manufacturers are always researching to find new and better ways to care for their equipment. As such, they may have added something new that you’re not familiar with.
By using your equipment correctly, it’ll last longer. Plus, your workers’ safety is guaranteed.
Regular Service & Maintenance
The next thing you want to do is to conduct regular service and maintenance checks on the equipment.
Again, the user manual usually stipulates the exact periods between taking in equipment for servicing. Familiarise yourself with these periods and adhere to them. Call in the professionals to conduct these checks.
But don’t leave everything to the professionals. Make sure you train your employees on how to conduct routine checks on the equipment each time before use. Upon noticing anything out of place, be it a loose screw on the ladder or a frayed rope, the equipment shouldn’t be used. Rather call in the professionals to have a look at it right away.
Clean Your Equipment
Simply because they’re safety equipment doesn’t mean that you can leave them to accumulate dirt. Granted, your equipment is bound to get dirty during use, but it’s this debris and sand that can prevent your machinery from operating optimally over time. The solution is simple: clean your equipment every now and again. Chances are the manufacturer will clearly outline the exact process you must take when cleaning the equipment in question.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s advisable that you wipe away excess dirt and debris using a damp sponge with warm water after each use. In severe cases, you may need to call in the professionals to thoroughly wash the equipment.
Whatever you do, avoid soaking certain equipment such as your harness as this may potentially damage the fibres. Also, avoid using bleaches or abrasives to clean your equipment as this can also cause damage.
Keep Equipment Away from Chemicals
Part of caring for your height safety equipment means proper storage. Exposure or contact with chemicals will negatively affect your equipment leading to premature damage in the long run.
Store your equipment away from petroleum products or solvents that might corrode your equipment. Make sure you store it in a cool dry place. Doing so will lengthen the overall lifespan of your product. Plus, you won’t put your employees in danger by making them work on compromised equipment.
Dry Your Equipment Prior to Storage
In the case of harnesses, it’s important that you leave them to dry first before storage. And we’re talking about drying them naturally. Hang them to air dry rather than placing them in a heated environment. Also, make sure that they aren’t bent or crushed by other objects in the storage area.
Heated environments, though quick and effective at drying your equipment short-term, will do more harm than good in the long run. The strength of your harnesses is greatly compromised over time in hot conditions, resulting in premature damage.
If ever you find yourself having to replace your height safety equipment more frequently than normal, take a closer look at your drying method.
Store in Well Ventilated Areas
Chemical products aren’t the only elements you should worry about when storing your equipment. Direct heat, sunlight and fumes can have equally damaging effects on your safety equipment. It may also compromise their strength causing them to fail when you need them most.
Also, exposure to such elements shortens the overall lifespan of your products. Make sure that you store your equipment in dry and well-ventilated spaces to avoid damage.
Your workers’ safety is your responsibility. Also, when it comes to caring for height safety equipment Melbourne construction company owners must realise that it’s also their responsibility. Never neglect properly caring for your equipment by citing high maintenance costs.
Sure, routine checks may cost you some extra funds, but it’s nothing compared to the costly repairs—or replacements—you might incur over time.
Worse still, you may be faced with hefty medical costs or even lawsuits if injuries happen under your watch as a result of malfunctioning equipment.
Are you willing to put your workers’ lives at risk? We certainly doubt that.