Working at heights is common in many industries, from construction to maintenance, and presents significant safety risks. The dangers associated with working at heights include falls, slips, trips, and other injuries that can have severe consequences. It is paramount to ensure proper safety measures are in place to protect workers from such accidents. This article will explore some of the essential safety do’s and don’ts of working at heights.

    • Do: Conduct a Risk Assessment

Before any work is carried out at heights, conducting a thorough risk assessment is required. A risk assessment helps identify the potential hazards and risks associated with the task, allowing you to take appropriate measures to mitigate them. The evaluation should consider height, weather conditions, equipment, and the worker’s experience level. Once the risks have been identified, appropriate control measures should be implemented to reduce or eliminate them. These measures may include using safety harnesses, barriers, and guardrails.

    • Don’t: Work Alone

Working alone when carrying out tasks at height is highly discouraged. It is crucial to have someone else present to monitor the worker and ensure they are safe. The second person can also assist in an emergency, such as a fall or equipment malfunction. The presence of another person also provides an additional layer of safety in case the worker loses balance or falls unconscious.

    • Do: Wear Appropriate Safety Equipment

Proper safety equipment is essential when working at heights. The kit should include safety harnesses, lanyards, helmets, safety glasses, gloves, and shoes. The safety harness should always be worn and adequately connected to an anchor point when working at heights. Safety glasses protect eyes from debris and other objects falling from above.
Another important piece of equipment is safety shoes, which provide a good grip and help prevent slips or falls when working at heights. Helmets help protect workers’ heads from injuries during falls or should an object fall from above. Ensuring all safety equipment is in good condition and properly maintained is vital.

    • Don’t: Overreach

Overreaching is a common mistake when working at heights. Staying within a safe working range is essential to avoid losing balance or falling. Workers should also avoid standing on chairs or other unstable surfaces when working at heights. These surfaces are not designed for use and can easily tip over, leading to falls and other accidents.

    • Do: Ensure Proper Training

Workers should receive proper training before undertaking any work at heights. The training should cover topics such as hazard identification, risk assessment, good use of safety equipment, and emergency procedures. Workers should also be trained on how to use fall protection personal protection equipment (PPE), ladders and scaffolding safely. Regular refresher training will help ensure workers stay up to date with the latest safety procedures and regulations: helping them return home safely everyday after work.

Fall safety

    • Don’t: Use Faulty Equipment

Using faulty equipment when working at heights is extremely dangerous and can lead to severe accidents. Workers should inspect all equipment before use to ensure it is in good condition. Any faulty equipment should be removed from service and replaced immediately. This includes ladders, scaffolding, harnesses, and other equipment used at heights.

    • Do: Ensure Proper Scaffolding

Scaffolding is commonly used in construction and maintenance work at heights. Ensuring that scaffolding is properly erected, maintained, and inspected regularly is critical. Scaffolding should be stable and secure, and workers should be trained to use it safely. Workers should conduct regular inspections to identify any potential faults or issues prior to working on these kinds of structures.

    • Don’t: Ignore Weather Conditions

Weather conditions can significantly impact the safety of working at heights. Workers should not undertake tasks at heights in adverse weather conditions, such as strong winds, heavy rain, or lightning. Even mild weather conditions such as a gust of wind, can pose a risk to workers at heights. It is essential to check weather conditions before commencing any work at heights and to postpone the task if weather conditions are unsuitable.

    • Do: Use Fall Protection Systems

Fall protection systems are designed to prevent falls from heights and to minimize the risk of injury if a fall occurs. The systems may include safety nets, guardrails, and safety harnesses. Ensuring that the fall protection systems are installed, maintained, and used correctly is essential. Workers should also be trained to use fall protection systems properly.

    • Don’t: Rush

Working at heights requires focus and concentration, and rushing can lead to mistakes and accidents. Workers should take their time and follow all safety procedures when working at heights. Rushing can also lead to fatigue, increasing the risk of accidents.

    • Do You Have an Emergency Plan?

Despite taking all the necessary safety precautions, accidents can still occur when working at heights. It is crucial to have an emergency plan in place in case of an accident. The emergency plan should include first aid, rescue, and medical assistance procedures. All workers should be trained on the emergency plan and should know what to do in case of an accident.

    • Don’t Carry Excessive Loads

Carrying excessive loads when working at heights can affect a worker’s balance and increase the risk of accidents. Workers should only carry what is necessary and avoid heavy or bulky objects when working at heights. It is also essential to ensure that any tools or equipment used at heights are securely fastened to prevent them from falling.


Working at heights presents significant safety risks, and it is crucial to take all necessary safety precautions to protect workers from accidents. The safety do’s, and don’ts when working at heights include conducting a risk assessment, wearing appropriate safety equipment, ensuring proper scaffolding, using fall protection systems, and having an emergency plan.

Workers should also be trained appropriately, avoid rushing, and not carry excessive loads when working at heights. By following these safety measures, we can ensure that workers are safe when working at heights and prevent accidents from occurring.

For more information about Working At Heights Online and In Person Training in Renfrew County contact ValleyWorkSafe to help you and your teams prepare for any workplace conditions, or job responsibility.

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