WORKING AT DIFFERENT LEVELS

by S. A. Solanki Deputy Director Industrial Safety & Health (Retd.)

WORKING AT HEIGHT
‡ Most of fall accidents happen while working at height and most of them prove fatal. Therefore seriousness of fall accidents should be considered seriously. Fall accidents contribute at 10 to 20% total fatal and 15 to 80% non-fatal accidents.

Types, Cases and Control of Fall Accidents Falls and accidents due to falling objects can be classified as under: (A) Falls of Persons: Falls from heights viz. structure, floor, ladder, scaffold, platform. Falls into depth (negative height) viz. wells, pit, sump, silos, ground, tank, vessel, excavation, ditches. Falls on the same level viz. falling or slipping on the floor or flat at the standing level.

(B) Falling Objects (bodies): 
Falls of objects from height viz. tools, machine part, equipment, material.  Falls of objects from the hands of the same person viz. tool, equipment, material being handled.  Structural collapse viz. wall, building ceiling, pipe, ladder, scaffold, beam, truss.  Material collapse viz. falling of piles of goods, layers of begs, cloth, paper rolls, carton boxes, grain, cement and fertilizer:  Slides and cave-ins viz. earth, rock, sand, stones, snow, ice.

not using helmet. unsafe floor. painting. unsafe work practices.‡ Most serious accidents due to falls and struck by falling bodies take place in mining and quarrying. building and construction. cleaning. ‡ Major causes of such accidents are makeshift arrangement. safety shoes. . demolition. poor supervision. maintenance and unsafe use of lifting and other equipment. safety belt. poor lighting etc. unsafe use of vehicles. alteration. structural repair.

steamy or smoky atmosphere restricting vision.  Poor lighting. swat and obstructions lying on the way. oil or grease not cleaned up.  Loose. glare or shadows. chipping.  Dusty. . defective broken floor or tow board.Common Causes of Falls are:  Water.  Scrap.  Warn out or unsuitable footwear.  Carrying too much load making it difficult to see over the load.

.  No or inadequate handrails.  Not using spectacles for clear vision.  Ladders. Rushing instead of walking. ramps.g.  Not using a safety belt or using in a wrong way. not tying its free-end or tying it with a weak support.  Throwing instead of lowering tools or materials while working aloft.  Defective or weak scaffolds. e. planks and platforms not rigid or safe for the job.  Climbing oddly instead of using ladder.  Not using crawling board on fragile roof.

 Not closing the manhole cover or flooropening etc. hook etc. Most of the falls from height prove fatal or result in serious fracture.  Non-compliance of statutory provisions. to weak or unfastened structure. Therefore their prevention or control is utmost necessary.  Allowing roof work and floor work at a time in the same vertical plane. .  Touching of crane boom.

 Safe practice in walking and working. No excessive load lifting. cat ladder. safety belt.  Use of crawling board. guarding and tow boards.  Safe means of access while working at height or depth. while working on fragile roof. foot-wear.  Safe helmet.Control Measures for Fall Accidents:  Safe. sound and dry (non-slippery) surfaces for walking and working. fall arrester net etc. etc. . Fencing.

and safe use thereof. ladders.  Safe and sound stairs. scaffold etc. cutting off power supply in overhead electric lines.  Removal of 20 causes mentioned above.  Good lighting and supervision.  Safety cordon to disallow persons in the area where any object may fall from height. Use of Safety work permit for working at height or in depth. .

gangways with substantial handrails. 1948 provide precautions regarding floors. fencing and safe means of access to every work place. shall be provided to prevent a fall and ensure safety. openings in floor etc.Statutory Provisions ‡ Section 32 and 33 of the Factories Act. sump. steps. sumps. stairs. means of access. pits. properly maintained and kept free from obstructions and substances likely to cause persons to slip. stairs. . pit or opening in the ground or in the floor whose depth. Steps. construction or contents are dangerous should be securely covered or fenced. tank. situation. passages. Accordingly all floors. stairs. passages and gangways should be of sound construction. Every fixed vessel.

for working at height and depth. . ‡ Rule 68E.‡ Rule 68 describes the ladder quality that it should have hooks or an effective non-skid device. GFR. provides for suitable and sufficient ladders. ‡ Schedule 19 and other Schedules u/r 102 of the Gujarat Factories Rules prescribe rules. duck ladders or crawling boards and a permit to work system while working on fragile roofs at a height exceeding 3 mt.

the space is to be made free of dangerous fume. ‡ Dimension of manholes.‡ Section 36 prescribes details of entering any confined space. under rule 64 of the Gujarat Factories Rules are given as circular 41 cm diameter or rectangular 41 cm x 31 cm. gas. vapour or dust. ‡ Section 36 A require a portable electric light up to 24 V and a flameproof lamp for flammable atmosphere. Before such entry. Work permit system should be followed and a suitable breathing apparatus and safety belt to be used by the person. .

floors and ladders. ramps. construction and use are explained below: . gangways. Therefore safety aspects of their design.Safety requirement while working at Height ‡ Falls happen due to falling from stairways. runs.

All stairways should be fitted with railings on the open sides and hand rails on sides which are otherwise enclosed. the riser height should not be more than 20 cm and not less than 12.5 cm.Stairways: The slope of a stairway should be 300 to 350 with the horizontal. The tread width should not be less than 24 cm plus a non-slip nosing of 2. The stair landings should be protected by railings and toe-boards. The height of the railings at the stairs should be not less than 75 cm or more than 90 cm measured from the top surface of the stair tread. Nonskid strips on stair treads can prevent slipping. .75 cm and should be constant for each flight.

h is the height of the riser. Two formulate are quoted in ILO literature.Adequate lighting on stairway should be provided to avoid accidents. l d + h = 46 cm nose l = d + n(d + 2h) l dd h n Where d is the depth of the step. n the number of steps and µl¶ the length of the landing. .

‡ Proper signs and symbols should be marked in traffic aisles. This can be achieved by providing top and bottom ventilation and self-closing fire doors on each landing.‡ Recommendation for h is 16 to 20 cm. In high rise building. Arrows for escape routes are necessary. Stairwell acts as a chimney. Double doors are provided to form an air lock. Therefore if should be kept free from smoke and gases. Turning staircases should be avoided. to drive away smokes. Steps is outdoor staircases should have a slight (1 to 2%) slope towards the nose to run away the water. ‡ The width of the staircase should be more than 75 cm. . then µd¶ should be 30 to 26 cm. Instead of continuous steps. groups of 5 to 6 steps should be preferred. ‡ Stairways should be of fireproof material to give support for a longer time. positive ventilation pressure is applied in case of fire.

Toe-boards should be provided where a ramp extends over a work place or a passage. should be as small as possible and the recommended maximum is 150 to the horizontal. Runways and Gangways: ‡ The slope of ramps. should be provided on ramps with steep slopes. Cleats not more than 40 cm apart. runways. ‡ Runways are long with uniform slope as they are at arodram. gangways etc. . if there is a risk of materials falling through the sides.Ramps. Wire screens are necessary on the sides.

The height of the railing from the base should be not less than 90 cm or more than 120 cm. sumps. toe-boards or guards. in platforms or floors should be protected by railings. . persons and other forces acting on the floor. pits etc. Unprotected floor edges situated at heights and openings. It should have intermediate members to shorten the gap less than 47 cm.Floors and Platforms: The design should consider all types of load in the form of materials. The toe-board should not be less than 15 cm in height. Acid proof bricks laid in acid resistant plaster should be the choice of flooring for a workroom in which acids are handled.

uneven surfaces. proper drainage should be provided. waste. Near wet processes and water showers. dust etc. openings. They should be nonslippery. accumulation of oil. inspection plates) must be fenced or guarded to protect unwary persons or prevent material falling through it to the floor below. chutes. irregularities. free from holes. water.‡ Floors should be of sufficient strength and shall never be overload. ‡ Open gutters and floor openings (holes. . pinch points.

‡ In industry. Therefore steel tipped or nailed boots or dropping of steel tools on such floor is hazardous. Such floors must be earthed properly. resistance to (a) wear and abrasion (b) chemicals (c) fire (d) environmental factors and (e) material in process are also to be considered.‡ Non-conductive floor in explosive atmosphere pose special hazard. . In addition to strength. criteria for floor selection are many. comfort and cost. Discharge of static electricity generates spark which can ignite the explosive mixture near the floor.

Solvents and oils should be avoided on rubber. thermoplastic. 1 to 2 % gradient towards drain helps ensure to flow away water and keep the surface dry.‡ Floors are also of many types. Acids and alkali should be avoided on concrete. natural detergents. vinyl and vinyl asbestos floor. . alkaline solution. Cleaners like soaps. quarry tile. ceramic. wood and terrazzo type floor. abrasive powder and damp floor cloths should be used. The cleaning process should not damage the floor affecting its strength or anti-slip properties. linoleum. magnestite. granolithic. ‡ Slope is an important factor in floor design.

etc. scaffolding. every effort should be made. equipment. . Men climb on machines. boxes.Ladders: Ladders may be classified under two broad categories. fixed ladder. wherever possible. Since the portable ladder is a rather hazardous piece of equipment. Not using ladders where required is a common cause of serious accidents. or any other suitable arrangement. to get access to places above the floor and thus get involved in accidents. barrels. to replace it by fixed stairs. the portable and the fixed.

such ladder should be the right choice. ‡ Step (Swing back) ladders and folding trestle ladders: In situations where there is no suitable facility to lean the ladders.Ladders should rest on firm ground and its top should extend at least 1 m above the place of landing. . Step (Swing back) ladders are generally provided with a convenient platform and a hand rail at the top.

a suitable fall arrester should be used. In the fall arrester a slide runs smoothly up and down a steel cable fitted along with the centre of the ladder. The slide moves up and down the cable as long as the user climbs or descends the slide causes it to catch on the cable and thus the fall is arrested (controlled). it is necessary to provide a crinoline for ensuring the safety of the user. . The slide is attached to the user¶s belt by a chain. Alternatively.‡ Fixed ladders: Wherever the length of a fixed ladder exceeds 9 m.

Portable ladder should not be more than 20 ft long.e. a slop of about four vertical to one horizontal. .‡ Transport of ladders: Ladders should be carried always with the leaning end at least 2 m above the ground. The ladder is safest and easiest to climb when it is at an angle of about 750 to the horizontal. Long and heavy ladders should be carried by two or more persons. i.

braided rope.‡ Non-slip devices for ladder feet: Slipping of the feet of the ladder can be prevented by fixing non-slip ladder shoes to the stiles. also serve as ladder shoes. felt or lead. Lashing the ladder by side guys should be resorted to where no anchorage is available near the top. cork. leather. Steel spikes or pointed ferrules fixed to the feet of the stiles. They are of fixed or pivoted type. A very long ladder should also be tied by guy ropes. and the soles may be of rubber. .

plaster.‡ Climbing ladders: A person ascending or descending a ladder should always face the ladder. However. It is easier and hence safer for a person to cling on to a rung than to a stile. grease or oil. Therefore they should be cleaned. When climbing or descending a ladder. Tools should be carried in a holster attached to a belt or in a tool bag or box slung from a strap over the shoulder. There is greater danger of slipping when the footwear or rungs are wet. the rungs should be held firmly hand over hand. . dirty or covered with paint. in case the foot slips. in the case of fixed ladders with wide steps and narrow stiles. it is safer to hold the stiles. The safest procedure is to hoist or lower the tools and materials by a rope. Facing away from the ladder while descending is a dangerous practice.

‡ Work on ladders: Working from the top of a single ladder can be particularly dangerous when the job requires the use of both hands. single ladders are not designed to be used in a horizontal position as bridges or platforms. Likewise. They should be supported throughout their length. . The safer way is to stand on a rung about a meter below the top rung to which safety belt is attached. The equilibrium of ladder can be easily upset if one leans sideways. ‡ Misuse of ladder: Use of trestle ladders as single ladders can easily lead to accidents. Crawling ladders used over roofs are not designed for use as ordinary single ladders.

A door should be closed before placing ladder over it. Filling in cracks and faults or covering up repaired portions with putty and paint is a dangerous practice as the potential weak points are then hidden and cannot be detected during inspections. boxes etc. Do not rest it on drums. Use the ladder by facing toward it and not otherwise. . Do not use metal ladder near live electric lines. Ladders should not be allowed to lie in the open exposed to the sun and the weather. Ladders should not be put on aisle. machines. to reach at height.

One is to provide a convenient platform for persons to work at height and the other is to provide a safe means of access to all places where any person may be required to work at any time. plant and materials used in building.Scaffolding: General Requirements: ‡ A scaffold is a temporary structure that provide support for workers. . maintenance. ‡ The scaffold serves two purposes. repair and demolition work. construction. Accidents at scaffolds are generally caused either due to direct collapse of the scaffold or as a result of persons or material falling off the scaffold.

‡ The scaffolds should be of sound material. Their erection. Wood and bamboo should meet the specifications laid down by the Forest Research Institute and College. ‡ Steel components of tubular (normally 5 cm dia) scaffolds should conform to IS:2750 and 4014 for Steel Scaffoldings. alteration and dismantling should be done under the supervision of a competent person. Dehra Dun. They should be securely supported or suspended and should be properly strutted or braced to ensure stability. Normal size is 4 cm thick x 23 cm wide x 3-4 m long. . sufficient strength (4 times the expected load) and properly designed.

No hot work should be carried out on wooden platform. at least 30 cm projected canopy or screen should be provided at the scaffold working level. ‡ In high wind or storm work on scaffold should the avoided. . Similarly for the persons working or passing under a scaffold. Fire fighting facility should be kept nearby. not more than 3 m above the work platform of the scaffold becomes necessary if overhead work is going on.‡ Overhead protection.

It is recommended that portable ladders should not be used as a means of access where the height of the scaffold platforms exceeds 3. gangways or stairways. runways. portable or fixed. ramps. .‡ Means of Access: Failure to provide such access has caused serious accidents. The use of cross braces or framework of the scaffold as a means of access should not be permitted.75 m. The safe means of access may be ladders. Slope of the ladder should be 4 vertical to 1 horizontal. It should rise 1 m above landing platform and securely fixed at upper end.

5 m .7 m 0.9 m 1.Width of working platforms: The following minimum widths are recommended as a general rule. 2 If the platform is used for the deposit of material 3 If the platform is used for support of any higher platform 4 If the platform is one upon which stone or bricks are dressed or roughly shaped 5 If the platform is used for support of any higher platform and is one upon which stone or bricks are dressed or roughly shaped 0. 1 If the platform is used as a footing only.3 m 1.1 m 1.

Where materials are stacked on a platform. the height of the toe-board may have to be raised. .‡ Railings and toe-boards: A common cause of accidents at scaffold is the failure to provide railings at the exposed sides of the scaffold platforms. Often. Normal height of railing is 1 m and toe board 15 cm. the failure is when the scaffolding is erected for jobs of short duration. or it may even be necessary to cover the entire space between the top rail and the toe-board with wire netting or planks.

‡ Boards and planks in working platforms, gangways and ramps: For platforms of wooden planks, in general, the spacing should not exceed the following: Planks 32 mm thick 1m Planks 38 mm thick 1.5 m Planks 50 mm thick 2.6 m ‡ Boards or planks which form part of a working platform, gangway or ramp should not project beyond their end supports to a distance exceeding four times the thickness of the board or plank. 50 mm projection is desirable. Overlapping of boards is unsafe.

‡ Hazards and Safety measures: Scaffolds should never be loaded in excess of the working load for which they are designed. Wood scaffolds are not generally painted. However, in case of ladders and certain permanent types of scaffolds such as the mobile scaffold, protection is generally provided by periodically treating them with a coating of linseed oil.

Main hazards with scaffolding are: ‡ Unsuitable or faulty material of construction. ‡ Inadequately supported scaffold boards. ‡ Improper platform width and thickness. ‡ Non-securing or bracing scaffold to the structure. Damaged or wrong couplers. ‡ Unsecured ladders slipping. ‡ Omission of guard rails or toeboards. ‡ Overloading the scaffold. ‡ Erected on uneven ground.

‡ Scaffold foundation should be verified before erection. Loose or friable packing like bricks should not be used as support. For height more than 15 mt, steel scaffold should be preferred and not a wooden one. ‡ Inspection after 7 days and after every damage is necessary. Points to be checked include: stability, ties and fixing, alignment of members, bending, tightness of lashing or couplers, planks, platforms, guard rails, toe boards and condition of ladders. ‡ Warning notice should be displayed near incomplete or damaged scaffold.

treated with preservative or paint.‡ Dismantling should be carried out in the reversed order to erection. ‡ After completion of work. Materials should not be thrown from heights and should not be left lying here and there. They should be properly collected. . cleaned. boxes or trays. The damaged parts should be replaced or repaired. Couplers and other fittings should be lubricated. all scaffold materials should be stored in a dry protected place using racks.

Tubular uprights have steel base plates places on wooden sole plates. Soft ground should be well rammed and leveled. They should not be kept more than 3 mt apart. ‡ The uprights (vertical poles) should rest on strong foundation to support load without settlement. .Types of Scaffold: Some common types of scaffold are as follows: Pole type scaffolds: ‡ It may be an independent structure or the putlog type erected and supported near wall or another structure.

Putlog members (horizontal) should at least 10 cm be inserted in wall. nails or fibre rope of approved size. Bracing (diagonal connection) should be tied to ensure structural stability and prevent buckling. .6 m vertically and horizontally. joint pins and couplers should be properly fitted. For load bearing right-angled or swivel couplers should be used.‡ Fixings like steel bolts. To prevent overturning the scaffold should be secured at intervals not greater than 7.

While pushing or pulling the tower. They are portable and most useful for maintenance work.Rolling Scaffolds or Mobile Towers: ‡ Such scaffolds move on rollers (wheels) or castors with wheel locking device. Rigidity of the tower is secured by diagonal bracing on all four sides and on plan. It should support 30 lb/ft2 distributed load. ‡ The top working platform must have handrails and toe boards. persons should not ride on it. ‡ To prevent overturning. height should not be more than three times the minimum width of the base. . Tools and materials should be removed before moving. Minimum base length should be 4 ft. ‡ Moving the tower by pulling at the top or leaning sideways should be avoided.

‡ The outriggers should be passed right through the wall and be secured on the inner side.Outrigger Scaffolds: ‡ It is a balcony type cantilever scaffold resting on wall. this type should not be used. ‡ Platform should not project beyond 2 mt from the wall. Supporting hook between brick joints is dangerous. If other types of scaffold are possible. . Guard rail and toe board should be provided.

Suspension ropes should withstand 6 times the intended load. ropes and hooks on supporting beam. They anchorage and the suspension gear should be strong enough to withstand the load with good factor of safety. Movement of both the ends should be simultaneously. Suspended platform can be raised or lowered as per need.75 inch. Rope diameter shall be more than 0.Swinging (Hanging) Scaffolds: ‡ Here the platform is hanging by two chain pulley blokes. .

‡ The width of the platform should be more than 50 cm and less than 90 cm. ‡ Each person working on swinging scaffold should wear safety belt with lifeline attached to an anchorage other than the scaffold itself. The platform should be lashed or secured while in use.‡ A safety rope shall be provided in addition to the suspension ropes. to prevent swaying. . Guard rails and toe boards necessary on all the three sides open.

Hoisting drum (like winch) is used with at least 2 dead turns. Gap between handrail and toe board should be covered by a wire mesh of 38 mm and 16 gauge wire. Anchor plates should be tied with U bolts. .Suspended Scaffolds: ‡ Two or more platform are suspended by ropes from overhead outriggers anchored to the building. Overhead protection should be provided if risk of falling objects is possible. Counter weights are used to prevent overturning. Wire ropes (FS 6) are used to support scaffold. ‡ Such scaffolds are designed with a factor of safety 4 and shall never be overloaded.

The chair is supported by a suitable sling passing through the four corner holes in the chair for proper stability. General chair (seat) size is 60 cm x 30 cm. .Boatswain¶s Chair: Boatswain¶s chair is used for supporting and hoisting single person in sitting position. Fibre rope slings should not be used if the person in the chair has to do welding or cutting work. Cleats extending in front to at least 23 cm should be securely fixed under the chair at both ends. the life line of which is secured to the tackle supporting the chair. The suspension rope is fixed to an overhead support or passed through a pulley block fastened to such support. with 25 mm thick timber. The free end is secured to a conveniently accessible anchorage and the person in chair must wear a safety belt.

They should fulfil IS specifications. They are available in leather and webbing of natural and man made fibres. webbing is superior to leather. Safety belts of various types are available.Safety Belts and Harness: In addition to all engineering controls and work permits. personal protective equipment should not be forgotten while working at height or depth. Pole safety belt. general purpose safety belt with or without remote anchorage and harness (man hoisting by another man) type safety belt are in common use. . of which.

Web material may be cotton. .‡ Webbing can withstand loads 3 to 4 times that of leather of the same size. Care of belts is always necessary. Life lines of manila rope of 19 mm diameter or nylon rope of 13 mm diameter are suitable provided a shock absorbing device is available. While selecting a belt. nylon or Dacron. It can stop a person falling or he can be pulled out if working below in a confined space. ‡ Respiratory equipment should be selected depending upon the working environment. its normal and emergency use should be considered. ‡ Harness consists of a safety belt and rope or lifeline.

The belt should be tied with the body while the free end of the rope should be anchored with a fixed unbreakable sound structure or should be held by another person standing outside a confined space when the wearer is working inside. examined by a competent person every six month and maintained in very good condition.e. .General Requirements: All workers working at height of more than 2 m (window cleaners. construction workers etc. safety belts connected with ropes. The belt and rope should be of sound material.) must wear safety harnesses i.

‡ All safety equipment are to be freely supplied by the employer and it should be seen that workers use them. ‡ Workers should be trained. encouraged and supervised to wear safety belt properly because it can save their precious lives. . This is a statutory requirement.‡ Length of the rope is normally 2 m since more fall height and sudden arrest may cause internal injuries to the workers. ‡ But in case of working in depth the rope length should be more than 2 m and extending upto the bottom level of working since the worker is to be pulled out when he gives indication of any difficulty to him or when it is observed by the person holding the rope. standing outside and watching the person working inside.

‡ Safety belts are required for workers working on towers. boilers. Increasing length of the rope without permission can also lead to hazard. windows and building projects and also in confined spaced like tanks. . Supervisor and the worker must ensure this. Wrapping of free end (rope) on waist is a wrong practice. Car and aeroplane occupants also need safety belts to be protected from crashing and overturning. gutters etc. Anchorage point should be at such height so that there shall be minimum slackness in the line. It shall never be lower than the belt attachment to the restraining line. masts. ‡ Free end of the rope shall never be anchored on a structural member being placed or any loose or weakened structure.

visual inspection for defects and repair only by a competent person are necessary for good maintenance. A sudden pull operates lock or brake to stop the rope. Regular cleaning. Because of a friction brake on the rope drum. ‡ Tensile tests and drop tests are carried out on safety belts and apparatus used with them. . ‡ Safety belts should be kept in a cool. jolt is avoided and the falling person is stopped smoothly.‡ Safety block (like chain pulley block or hoisting drum block) is used to connect the wire rope with the safety belt to allow more freedom of movement. a centrifugal brake is applied on the drum so that the person descends slowly to reach the ground. In another design. dry and well ventilated place.

waist and hips are preferable as by wearing it the forces during fall will be absorbed not only by the trunk but also by the legs.Types of Safety Belts: Mainly four types of safety belts are in practice: General purpose Safety Belt: ‡ It consists of a waist belt. Two restraining lines are used for window cleaner¶s belt. Rope (normally 2 m) is attached to D ring secured to the waist belt. Straps covering shoulders. environmental factors etc. ‡ For window cleaning. Choice of model depends on working method. time of work. a restraining line (lifeline) and the metal components. . chest. straps are long enough to fit windows and terminate in snap hooks for anchor on each side of the window.

They are used as support while climbing and protection while falling.Lineman¶s or Pole Safety Belt: ‡ To climb on poles. . trees etc. towers. these belts are used. Here waist belt is fitted with 2 Drings at different points. masts. The length of the restraining line is adjustable by a buckle. Generally fall is restricted to 60 cm.

On the rescue line there is a wrist strap by which the wearer can be hauled up through a manhole or other opening.Harness (Man hoisting) Safety Belt: ‡ It is used for working in a confined space. The life line is held by a person standing outside to rescue the wearer when he is unable to come out by his own efforts. silo. vessel etc. ‡ Work permit should be followed and the work place should be made free from any toxic/flammable vapour and oxygen deficiency. tank. .

‡ Anti fall systems are of two types (1) With a sliding and blocking device on a vertical safety support (pole.Fall Arrester or Anti fall Device: ‡ Here waist belt is connected to a sliding anti fall device which automatically stops while moving in fall direction. unrolling and blocking a tether (cable. . rope. strap). cable rail) (2) With an automatic catching device for rolling. Specific braking system includes an absorber of kinetic energy used with a tether. Here fall arrest distance is small due to close (short) life line.

Other type allows the horizontal (to and fro) movement but will catch the falling body through rope and a shock absorber. A cross belt is tied with the body and a sliding mechanism moves with the body in upward direction but it will be locked and stop the fall at the descending movement.A competent person should be consulted for selection of appropriate device. .

For stopping falling material.Safety Nets: ‡ Where safety belt is not possible or in addition to safety belt for further safety of a person. Net is useful to stop a fall of a person as well as of falling objects. . or work surface is fragile and sudden fall is possible. particularly when fall height is very high or falling in sea or deep water is possible. the mesh size should be small. ‡ The net and the structure to which it is attached should be capable of catching and supporting at least two persons at a time. safety net is very much essential to catch a falling person.

Diameter of the mesh cords and that of the border cord should be at least 3 mm and 8 mm respectively. Big net should have eyes every 2 m on the boarder cords. light weight and weatherproof. The mesh size of 5 x 5 cm is preferable. ‡ Four corners should have eyes to support. For falling objects that size should be 3 x 3 cm. ‡ Standard net size is 6 x 4 m but it can be manufactured of required sizes also. . Two nets can be connected with each other to cover more surfaces.‡ The nets are made of synthetic fibres which are strong.

outside the falling area. cool and well ventilated place. ‡ Nets should be kept on pallets in a dry.‡ While attaching net with the structure.5 m above any object or structure below the net. . some safety distance should be maintained.5 m below the working level and less than 3. The net must project at least 2 mt. It should be kept away from chemicals and hot materials. It should not be lower than 3. It should have serial number so as to keep record of maintenance. ‡ Nets should be cleaned regularly and checked periodically for cuts and other objects.

railing. ‡ Use of a safety belt alone while working on a fragile roof or at a height more than 6 ft (2m) is not permitted. Fall through fragile roof sheeting. Sound platform.Working on Roofs: ‡ Serious accidents happen due to fall of persons working on roofs. adequate support or safety net should also be provided. loss of balance due to the slope of the roof or effect of wind and insufficient care while working at the edge of the roof constitute the principal causes of such accidents which could be prevented by appropriate safety measures like crawling or walk-boards. safety belt and safety net. It is dangerous and many fatal accidents have happened because of this condition. .

‡ Factors affecting fall of roofers are working height. High wind and bigger sized sheet in hands cause a roofer to lose his balance. oil. dust and other deposits on roof surface increase fall proneness. Hidden cracks in a roof increase the hazard. glass. pollution and corrosion spoil the roof condition. chemical. nature. roof covering material. moisture. shape and slope of the roof. roof condition and the weather. ‡ The shape of the roof-flat or sloping with a straight. wood and roofing tiles. cement. humidity. snow. Water. rain. plastic. ‡ Low-strength roofing materials are asbestosis. polygonal or curved profile ± affects the fall direction. . Heat.

safety belts and nets must be provided to each roofer. flat ladders (roofer¶s ladder). ‡ Roof work should be pre-planned and only fit and skilled workers should be employed. Smoke or gas coming on the roof or overhead electric power lines also contributes hazards.‡ Whatever may be the reason. Fixed or mobile scaffold. . sufficient cat ladders or crawling boards side by side. danger of falling toward the roof edge or falling through the roof opening is always there. ‡ Assessment of the nature of work and possible hazards will help to draw safety work permit.

wire ropes or other fixing device should be decided. Their medical examination is also useful.‡ Anchor points. . Even for a short duration work. Safety cordon. anchor hooks. bars. ‡ Measures should also be taken to protect persons below. All walk boards and equipment should be sufficient in number. ‡ The workers should be trained for work at heights. such safety precautions should not be avoided. Fall arrester net should be firmly tied as near as possible under the roof to minimize the fall distance. This arrangement must be made first and then only the work may be started under strict supervision. warning notice and fall arrester net can help in this regard.

‡ Falls through fragile roofing materials: The common practice to walking along the purling cannot be relied upon. . The best way to prevent falls through such fragile materials is to use cat or roof ladders.2 cm thick. Safety belts and fall arrester net should also be used as an additional precaution. fixed not more than 38 cm apart. A permit-to-work system under the control of a responsible person can help to ensure that the workers are not allowed to work on roofs without taking appropriate safety measures. They should be at least 38 cm wide and should have cross battens at least 3.

with Polypropylene reinforcement strips inserted along precisely engineered locations which run the full length of the sheet in each corrugation. . names their product as ³Everest Lifeguard´ and tells it a solution for µSafety on Roof Tops´. The manufacturer µEternit Everst Ltd.‡ Reinforced AC sheets are now available in the market. Their literature runs as under: ‡ Everest Lifeguard a high strength fibre cement sheet. New Delhi. thus providing maximum reinforcement strength with no loss of durability in service. They are not a fragile as normal AC sheets.¶.

.‡ This product has been developed in conformance of the guidelines issued by UK¶s Health & Safety Executive. For sloping roofs. either the standard railings and toe-boards or a complete barrier to a minimum height of 90 cm should be provided. ‡ Falls from sides of roof: In case of flat roofs. with regard to Health & Safety on roof work (HSG33). the barrier may be in the form of scaffold boards extending to a minimum height of 40 cm above the roof surface and a guard rail at a height more than 90 cm but not more than 120 cm.

‡ Do not lift or carry excessive load so as to loose balance and fall. . ‡ Tools should be attached by lanyard to the belt or garment to prevent their fall on others.Safety Work Permit: A well designed µPermit to Work System¶ is always useful to check safety points before hand. General Precautions while Working at Height: They are as under_ ‡ Cut off power in nearby electric lines to avoid shock and fall.

clean and well protected. first aid box and other device like aerial platform. The floor should be checked for fragility. shoes. fire extinguisher.‡ ‡ ‡ Safety helmet. rope ladder etc. emergency staircase. before starting the work. crack and its soundness to carry load. respirator and other PPEs should be worn as per need. Keep the work floor always dry. . Know safe means of access. Non fragile metal sheets or reinforced AC sheets are preferable. safety belt.

harness and lanyards are to be used in conjunction with permanent anchorage points.‡ ‡ Pre-employment and periodic medical examination of workers to check their suitability for working at height. wear and adjust before they start work and how to connect themselves to the structure or safety time. . blackouts etc. epilepsy. should not be employed or continued to work at height. vertigo. Workers suffering from balance disorders. Workers should be trained to know how to check. Trained Workers: Safety belts.

They should also be aware of emergency and evacuation procedures so that if. ‡ It is essential for employers to implement safe working procedures for working at heights. mobile elevating work platforms. they know what they should do.e. cradles and mast platforms. for example. the power to platform fails.‡ Workers can also use mobile access equipment i. . All users of such equipment should be trained and competent to operate it.

defines µconfined space¶ as any space by reason of its construction as well as in relation to the nature of the work carried therein and where hazards to the persons entering into working inside exist or are likely to develop during working. . GFR. tanks. boilers gutter etc. Meaning and Hazards of Confined Space: ‡ Clause 2(O). vessels. pose danger and always require permit to work system.WORKING IN A CONFINED SPACE Work in vessels and tanks below ground in pits. rule 102. vats. Sch-19. callers and basements or inside confined spaces such as silos.

has contaminated air with toxic or/and flammable gas. has unfavourable natural ventilation due to stagnant air. .e. not for long time worker occupancy). dust etc and may cause engulfment (swallowing) in unstable or loose material.‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Confined Space is also described as a place which_ is mostly enclosed and partially open. no free air movement. is not designed or intended for normal place of work (i. oxygen deficiency or enrichment or nitrogen atmosphere. has limited or restricted openings for entry and exit. is at atmospheric pressure and temperature.

Examples (Types) of confined spaces are_ ‡ Storage tank ‡ Process Vessels / Reaction vessel ‡ Pressure Vessels ‡ Boilers ‡ Tank cars (trucks) ‡ Tank wagons ‡ Digester ‡ Wells/bores ‡ Under floor/ Floor opening ‡ Sumps ‡ Pits .

clay and similar loose material Roof voids/ Gap between roof and false ceiling .‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Silos Pipes Ducts Gutters Tunnels Sewers Vats Bilges Shafts Go-down of grain. cement. sulphur.

Other hazards are suffocation. ‡ Non specific work practices. ‡ Oxygen deficiency. physical trauma. poisoning. ‡ Unexpected activation of machinery or flow. injury by moving machinery. ‡ Engulfment (burying) in loose material. slipping or falling etc. drowning. scalding. radiation. ‡ No way or no time available for exit. burning. stroke. . ‡ Contamination of toxic and / or flammable gases. heat stress. explosion.Hazards of Confined Space can be classified as_ ‡ Poor lighting and ventilation. crushing. freezing. entrapment.

. one died due to chloroform vapour and two died due to nitrogen (oxygen deficiency) atmosphere in such confined spaces.‡ Many fatal and serious accidents have occurred while working in a confined space. should be considered as a confined space. explosion. in such situation persons working inside have to face direct fire. One worker died due to solvent fire. or toxic exposure and have no other way to run away except the only way of their entry. Three reasons_ flammable air mixture. Tanks (vessels) with top cover open but all other sides closed. toxic gases and oxygen deficiency ± are found responsible for such accidents. such situation / condition is a confined space. because. Therefore doubtlessly and as per above statutory definition.

vessels.Safety equipment for working in a confined space Following equipment are useful for working safely in a confined space. sumps. Portable (rope) ladder may be used while working inside a tank or vessel for temporary work. Vessel Entry Permit: ‡ Tanks vats. floor opening etc. . should be provided to step down safely. should be protected by guard rails or cover. Fixed ladder with handrail if possible. pits.

safety permit and all rescue arrangements must be done before such work and only a trained worker will work under constant help and supervision.Other precautions are_ ‡ Check the concentration of toxic or flammable gas. It should be > 18%. inspection and testing. dust. by a gas detector.. purging and ventilation of the vessel. vapour etc. ‡ Air line or self contained breathing apparatus and safety belt are essential. cleaning. ‡ Complete isolation of the vessel. . Oxygen content should also be checked for safe proportion. ‡ Sump pumps with flameproof electric or pneumatic motors and air extraction fans (spark proof) and exhaust ducting to remove heavy vapours are necessary.

. Before allowing vessel (confined space) entry permit. cord and chair assembly can be used to lower the person while working at height or depth. Winch arrangement connected with the worker¶s harness in useful to lower and pull out quickly. Bottom drain valve and other nozzles should be kept open to allow good ventilation and fresh air in a vessel or tank. Hand operated clutch.‡ ‡ ‡ Latest safety and rescue systems should be used. it is necessary to carry out hazard assessment of the space. Hand free communication system is available to keep the worker in the tank in constant touch with the supervisor outside.

.WORKING UNDERGROUND ‡ Working underground has hazards similar to working in a confined space. safety shoes etc. water evacuation. ‡ Hazard assessment of underground atmosphere is most important. supports. measurement and removal of other gases (e. respirators. are necessary as per hazard assessment report. helmet. Oxygen level. CO. methane etc) by exhaust ventilation. H2S. artificial lighting (flameproof if necessary). necessary ladders.g. ‡ Under ground work includes digging also. safety harness. Therefore all precautions including entry permit mentioned in part 2 above should be followed.

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