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Spike’s Survival Guide – Staying Safe at Heights

Spike

If you’re a fairly experienced tradie, chances are you’ve already dealt with being up at a height and know the drill with safety. If you haven’t had the pleasure of this experience just yet, we’ve put together some great tips to help you stay safe when you’re getting high.
(For legal purposes, by getting high we mean scaling a building as part of your job as a tradie).

Figure out any alternatives
Being up at a height, whether it’s 2 stories or 6, isn’t the ideal situation for most tradies. Not just because it can be scary as sh*t, but also because of the risks and safety issues involved. If there’s any way you can get the job done without sending a man (or woman) up, make sure you try those methods first so the job doesn’t end up potentially being more trouble than it’s worth.

Do a recce before you climb
If there’s no other option and someone’s gotta do it, make sure you check everything out before going up. Check for any hazards that could affect you or the people below – probably a good idea to have no-go zone below where you’ll be working in case something comes loose and falls on some unsuspecting person. The weather usually plays an important role in a tradie’s day-to-day, but it’s especially important to check it in this kind of situation as the last thing you want is to be standing on slippery materials.

Put safety first
You might be a free-climbing adrenaline junkie, but when you’re on the job, it really is just better to be safe than sorry. Suit up in hard hat, boots with good grip and a harness if you’re going up fairly high. Have an emergency response plan in place for the whole team in case God forbid something happens while you’re up there and you or someone below needs to get to ED stat.

Learn your ladders
Even if you’re just using a good ol’ ladder, you still need to think about safety. Obviously common knowledge (and cringeworthy stories) will tell you that you shouldn’t wear jandals or stand precariously on the very top rung, but on the job site, you’ll need to think about how high you’re going and what you’ll need to do. Use a proper ladder that’s fit for purpose and get a mate to hold it in place and make sure it’s level on sturdy ground. Definitely don’t position it over a muddy or slippery surface, and ensure you do a quick check of the hinges and braces before you jump on.