do you have to wear a safety harness on scaffolding

When you're working on scaffolding it's important you wear appropriate PPE to keep yourself and others safe. But do you have to wear a safety harness on scaffolding? Today we're going to answer the question - do you have to wear a safety harness on scaffolding? so that you can make sure you're working safely at all times. 

What are the dangers of working on scaffolding?

There are lots of dangers to be aware of when you're working on scaffolding. Not only are you at risk of falling and injuring yourself, but you can also cause significant harm to others around you if you're not careful. Some of the main dangers of working on scaffolding include:

  • Falling from height
  • Injuries caused by falling tools and objects
  • Electrocution
  • Accidents relating to inadequate PPE
  • Injuries relating to poor scaffold tower construction

The list goes on, but these issues should be at the forefront of your mind when you're preparing & carrying out a risk assessment for any scaffolding job. There's also a range of safety equipment you can purchase, including a safety harness & tool lanyards, that will help to minimise some of the risks associated with scaffold towers. 

Are safety harnesses essential?

The short answer is - yes! Safety harnesses are an essential piece of equipment if you plan to work on a scaffold tower for any period of time. A fall from four metres or higher could be life-threatening. A safety harness should be worn to ensure that you don't fall and injure yourself or others.

But how do you know which safety harness is best for scaffolding? We'd always recommend choosing a full-body harness when you're working on scaffolding. These safety harnesses distribute the force of a fall evenly across your body, which reduces the chances of a spinal injury. 

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What other PPE do I need?

Some other PPE that we recommend using when you're working on scaffolding includes tool lanyards, safety helmets, and hi-viz jackets. When used together, PPE will help ensure that you don't have any accidents while you're at work. Let's take a closer look at the benefits of some of this personal protective equipment.

Tool lanyards

Tool lanyards are designed to keep tools and equipment secure while you're working on scaffolding. By securing your equipment to your body or to the scaffold using a tool lanyard, you are guaranteeing that it won't fall from height and injure someone below. For that reason, tool lanyards are also considered essential when you're working at height. 

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Safety helmets

Safety helmets are there to protect you from falling objects and debris. Injuries to the head and neck can be life-threatening, so it's important that you wear appropriate headgear when you're working at height. Most safety helmets come in bright colours making it easier for your colleagues to see you too!

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Hi-vis jackets

If you've ever worked on scaffolding before, you'll know that hi-vis is a vital part of your attire. It ensures that all of your colleagues can see you, even in low-light situations. Here at Safety Harness Direct, we offer a wide range of hi-viz products to help keep you safe while working on scaffolding. 

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So there you have it. If you've been wondering whether you have to wear a safety harness on scaffolding - now you know! You can shop a wide range of safety harnesses that we've hand-picked for scaffold environments by clicking the button below.

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what is an anchor point

When you're creating a fall protection system to assist you while you're working at height, it's paramount that you include an anchor & select a suitable anchor point. An anchor is a device that connects you to the surface you are working on, while an anchor point is a place on the wall, ceiling, or scaffold where you'll install your anchors to support you & your fall arrest system. 

Before you start any work at height, you should plot your anchor points and install anchors as necessary. Always check that existing anchors and anchor points are secure and appropriate for the task at hand. If in doubt, seek the help of a colleague or health and safety professional. 

How do you choose suitable anchor points?

When you arrive at a new work site that has no existing anchor points, you'll need to identify the most appropriate places to install them. The number one consideration should be safety, but you should also consider the type of lanyard & fall protection system you'll be using as well as the comfort of the workers. Here are a few tips that will help you choose & use anchor points correctly.

  • When drafting the fall protection plan for employees to refer to, be sure to outline all of the anchor point locations & highlight which ones should & shouldn't be used for specific tasks. This will help prevent confusion & will ensure everyone is working in a suitable space.

 

  • Consider the "swing-fall" and "free-fall" distance from each anchor point. The best position for any anchor point is directly above the worker. Why? Because this reduces the potential distance that the worker will swing if they do accidentally fall. 

 

  • If you need to use a temporary anchor point, such as a crane or vehicle. always ensure that it is completely stable and weighted down. An accidental fall will exert a downward force that could cause lighter structures or vehicles to topple over.

 

  • Do not create improvised anchor points in scenarios where there isn't an "easy option". Attaching yourself to a roof hatch, a TV antenna, an air conditioning unit - or any other loose/inappropriate object will likely lead to injury (maybe even death). It's better not to climb at all if you are ever unsure about the stability of an anchor point.

 

Why is it important to visually inspect anchor points?

If you're using an anchor point or anchor that has been in place for some time, you should always carry out a visual inspection before you start working. Over time, anchor points can become corroded or damaged, meaning they'll no longer be able to support you properly.

It's wise to keep a written record of the inspection including the date, time, and person who carried out the inspection. If you're ever in doubt, we'd recommend purchasing new anchors and re-setting the anchor points before you get started.

Here at Safety Harness Direct, we offer a wide range of anchor points and anchorage products that will help secure you while you're working at height. Shop now!

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how to stop tools falling from height

When you're working at height, you have to be conscious of falling objects and the impact they can have on the people below you. While dropping a screwdriver at ground level might seem insignificant, dropping the same tool from a great height could lead to serious (potentially even fatal) injuries. Luckily there are things you can do to stop tools from falling from height. 

1. Remove loose items from your pockets

How many times have you put screws, bolts and other loose items in your pockets to "keep them safe" while you work on a job? We're all guilty of it, but when it comes to working at height, you can't take these kinds of risks. Before you ascend to the required working height, it's vital that you check your pockets for loose items and tools. Things that are left loose in your pockets are likely to fall from height as you move around the work platform, so be sure you've removed all tools from your pockets before you get to work!

2. Ensure everyone on site is wearing suitable PPE

A great way to ensure that people on the ground are protected from falling tools & objects is to provide everyone with appropriate PPE. For example, anyone who's working in an environment where there are others working above should be wearing suitable head protection gear. A simple hard hat could save your life! We stock a wide range of PPE here at Safety Harness Direct, so make sure that everyone on site is well-equipped.

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3. Keep tools secure with a tool lanyard

 The best way to stop tools falling from height is to secure them with a suitable tool lanyard. Here at Safety Harness Direct, we offer a number of different tool lanyards to suit different needs. Our shock-absorbing lanyards are great for heavier tools, while our elasticated tool lanyards are better suited to lightweight tools and equipment. There are also a number of different attachment points for you to choose from. Choke loops and "O" rings are amongst the most popular.

We understand that you need different types of tool lanyards for different tools & scenarios, that's why we offer such an extensive range for you to choose from. You can browse our full selection of tool lanyards here:

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So there you have it, a few tips to help you stop tools falling from height. As always, if you have any questions about the products mentioned in this blog, or if you'd like to enquire about our other height safety products, we'd love to hear from you. 

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how does a safety harness work

If you've ever worked at height before, you'll know that safety harnesses are a very important piece of safety equipment - but how do they actually work? What's the science behind safety harnesses and how do they keep you safe?

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There are so many different types of safety harness - trust us, we know! - that it can often be difficult to determine what sort you need.

To help you out, we've put together this comprehensive guide to explain the difference between two of the most commonly-used harness types: fall arrest harnesses and work positioning harnesses.

 

What is a fall arrest harness?

A fall arrest harness is an essential part of a fall arrest system. The harness is connected to a secure anchor point via a fall arrest lanyard, and if you fall, this setup stops you before you hit the ground.

Fall arrest harness

Fall arrest harnesses are essentially the last line of defence for workers who might be exposed to fall hazards. Arresting the fall should be considered a last resort - if possible, it's better to prevent the fall from occurring in the first place (e.g. by using a fall restraint system). But this isn't always practical or viable.

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