If you spend most of your time working at ground level, it can feel unnerving when you or the material you are working with needs to be lifted to a great height. Conversely, if you are comfortable working at height, it can be too easy to skip one or two of the safety checks because you have done the job so many times before. The reality is that to protect yourself and others, you must complete all relevant safety checks every time you are involved in a lift of either people or materials. You must also ensure that proper care is taken of all your height safety products. If you do these two things, you can have confidence that the job will proceed without an accident or any other incident.
Caring for your height safety products
Height safety products come in many forms. If you have any harnesses, you must check that they are not used when they have been allowed to become knotted or frayed. Store them safely away from areas that could become wet or where they might be exposed to UV light. General lifting equipment, such as lifting chain equipment, must be stored away from anything that could damage it and regularly inspected to ensure that it has not become damaged or started to show signs of wear.
Choosing the right height safety products
While keeping your lifting chain equipment in good repair is important, you must also choose the most appropriate equipment for your job. Using the wrong equipment to lift anything could cause the chain to break or the load to become unbalanced and fall. It is never a good idea to guess or to assume something is suitable. When choosing a lifting chain, check that you have precisely the grab hooks, shortening clutches and end fittings that you need to accompany the chain. Even if the chain itself is suitable, it could only take one faulty component for a disaster to occur. If a standard chain isn't the best choice for your application, talk to your supplier about a wire rope sling or a fibre sling instead. Your supplier should have exactly the parts you need to put together a suitable height safety product. They will also be aware of the specifications of each of their products and can advise you whether something you are looking at will be capable of bearing the required load.