Did you know that the leading cause of construction deaths is fall? While knowing what to do and what not to do on a construction site cannot guarantee your safety, it can greatly decrease the risk of accidents. For this reason, most construction companies require that their employees take the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS). While cramming all of the concepts could help you pass the test, it doesn’t help you learn the strategies that will keep you safe. This article, on the other hand, can help you learn these strategies.
- 1 Concept #1: Every Height is “Working at Height”
- 2 Concept #2: Ladder Maintenance
- 3 Concept #3: Damaged Construction Equipment
- 4 Concept #4: Be Cautious of Podium Steps
- 5 Concept #4: Ladder Placement
- 6 Concept #5: Taking Responsibility
- 7 Concept #6: Storing Materials on a Working Platform
- 8 Concept #7: Securing Ladders
- 9 Concept #8: Reaching Mobile Tower Scaffolds
- 10 Concept #9: Know When to Use a Ladder
- 11 Concept #10: Always Maintain 3 Contact Points with the Ladder
- 12 Concept #11: Check Wheel Brakes and Ground before Using a Mobile Tower Scaffold
- 13 Concept #12: Securing Yourself on a Mobile Elevating Work Platform
- 14 Concept #13: Protect the People below You from Falling Tools and Materials
- 15 Concept #14: Have the Proper Certification to Handle Scaffolds
- 16 Concept #15: Flat and Fragile Roof Safety
Concept #1: Every Height is “Working at Height”
There is no safe height for you to fall from. This means that whether you are working on a platform that is 5 feet high or a platform that is 50 feet high, you must follow the same precaution. A fall from any height can be dangerous depending on how you land and where, so remember that all heights are considered “working at height.”
Concept #2: Ladder Maintenance
Ladders should never be painted, regardless of how they look. The reason that ladders should not be painted is that this can cause damage to be covered up. This can be an unseen safety risk if paint is applied in the wrong place.
Concept #3: Damaged Construction Equipment
If you ever come across equipment that is damaged, you should not use it. Label the equipment so that none of your colleagues use it and then report it to the supervisor of your construction site immediately. Your quick and proper actions are essential to prevent injuries for others.
Concept #4: Be Cautious of Podium Steps
Many construction workers wrongfully place their faith in podium steps. While they do make reaching a height slightly safer, there is still the risk of podium steps toppling over if weight is unevenly distributed. Never let your guard down when standing on podium steps.
Concept #4: Ladder Placement
To climb up a ladder, it should be placed at a 75-degree angle against the wall. This is considered the safest angle for climbing a ladder.
Concept #5: Taking Responsibility
Before you use a ladder (or other equipment), it is essential that you inspect for damage. You cannot always depend on the person that used it before you to do the inspecting. Additionally, the equipment may become damaged between uses.
Concept #6: Storing Materials on a Working Platform
Sometimes, the work that needs to be done requires you to store materials on a working platform for easy and convenient access. There are two guidelines to follow for this. First, be sure that the platform can handle the weight of the materials, as well as any construction site personnel that may stand on it. Second, always store the materials so that they will not be able to fall. Falling items can be dangerous to other people.
Concept #7: Securing Ladders
You should always make sure that the ladder you are climbing up is properly secured. You can do this by tying the top of the ladder to the work surface.
Concept #8: Reaching Mobile Tower Scaffolds
It is very important to use the built-in ladder when you need to reach a mobile tower scaffold. Using other methods to reach the working platform can be dangerous and put you at risk for falls.
If you do still need to use a ladder, then follow these steps. First, make sure that the ladder has at least five rungs that extend above the platform. Second, secure the ladder to the scaffold platform by tying it securely.
Concept #9: Know When to Use a Ladder
It is very important that you only use a ladder when working for short periods. Otherwise, you will need to find a working platform or scaffold to work on. You should also only carry out light work using a ladder- perform heavier work with more appropriate equipment.
Concept #10: Always Maintain 3 Contact Points with the Ladder
To prevent yourself falling, it is important to maintain 3 points of contact with the ladder at all times. This means that you should either have one hand and two feet or two hands and one foot on the ladder at all times.
Concept #11: Check Wheel Brakes and Ground before Using a Mobile Tower Scaffold
Mobile tower scaffolds come with wheel brakes for a reason. Be sure that these are in proper functioning order before you climb on top of a scaffold. If the brakes are not working, do not use it, label the machine properly, and inform your supervisor. You should also be sure that the ground is safe. It should be level, as well as hard enough to support the scaffold.
Concept #12: Securing Yourself on a Mobile Elevating Work Platform
It can be difficult to hold yourself steady when your platform is moving. For this reason, you must use a harness lanyard to keep yourself safe. It is very important to attach your harness lanyard to the anchor point that is designated on the platform.
Concept #13: Protect the People below You from Falling Tools and Materials
Items that fall from any height can be dangerous to the people on the ground. For this reason, it is important to use brick guards when you have tools and equipment in the air. This will prevent things from falling and injuring people below.
Concept #14: Have the Proper Certification to Handle Scaffolds
Fitting and tube scaffolds can become dangerous if they are not handled properly. Be sure that the person who is erecting or dismantling the scaffold is authorised, trained, and competent enough to do the task at hand.
Concept #15: Flat and Fragile Roof Safety
If you are dealing with a flat roof, rolling is a danger that can send you over the edge. Prevent this by using a toe-board and guard rail. If you are dealing with a fragile roof, be sure to use a crawling board that has handles on the side. This will prevent you from falling through or off the roof.
Being safe on the construction site is no laughing matter, and one of the biggest components of this is fall safety. Do your best to not only study these skills to cram for your CSCS, but also to live by them on the construction site. Taking the proper precautions at work will not only protect you from dangerous falls, but it will also protect your co-workers. Always do your part and remember that safety on the construction site is the responsibility of everyone from the supervisor of the site to the lowest level worker.
We hope that you found this CSCS revision material helpful, working at heights is an important safety subject in the CSCS test. We have prepared a CSCS Working at Heights mock test for you to practice your new knowledge on.