What to keep in mind before using PPE on the scaffold
PPE, short for personal protective equipment against falls from a height, is always a must when technical and organisational measures cannot be implemented sufficiently. When used correctly, PPE, for example in the form of a safety harness, ensures that you are slowed down or caught in the event of a fall.
In order to use your PPE safely, you should know and observe a few things. We have compiled them for you below.
When must PPE be used?
As a general rule, PPE should always be used if, for example, cantilevers of the scaffolding due to bay windows prevent the assembly of a continuous safety rail at a fall height of 2 metres or more. If work is carried out above water or materials in which you can potentially sink in, the PPE must be used regardless of the fall height.
Choosing a suitable PPE
The decision as to which PPE is the right one for you should always be well-considered and correspond to the operational requirements. The basic rule is that the PPE used must always be adapted to your individual work situation and you as the user. When choosing suitable PPE, the legally stipulated risk assessment provides information on the requirements it must meet in daily use. Find more information on risk assessments here. For example, you should pay attention to the following when making your decision:
- Your PPE should be specifically approved for scaffolding.
- Make sure that the PPE has a CE marking (Europe) or meets OSHA/ANSI (USA), CSA (Canada) or AS/NZS (Australia/New Zealand) standards
- The PPE should be individually adjustable to your body.
- Take the necessary radius of action and the height of fall into account.
- A harness, energy absorbers and connecting elements suitable for transverse loads should be part of your PPE, as well as a safety helmet with chin strap
On this basis, you can obtain quotations for the PPE in question from the manufacturers or suppliers. Advice on the decision for a suitable PPE from a trained specialist can also help you make a decision and save you time and money. Our Scafom-rux team will be happy to help you.
Training is a must before using PPE
If you want to use PPE when working on scaffolding, you must have received appropriate training. At least once a year, you must therefore receive instruction on the use of PPE. Among other things, you will learn and deepen your knowledge of
- how to put on the PPE correctly
- how to choose suitable anchorage points of your PPE
- how to store and maintain the PPE and how to check it before each use
- how you should behave in certain situations when using PPE
In order to be well prepared for emergencies, it is advisable to regularly attend special height rescue trainings. At the Scafom-rux height rescue and fall protection training, your team will learn from our qualified training instructors not only the correct handling of the PPE, but also the necessary behaviour to avoid accidents or how to act in case of emergency.
In order for PPE to be safe for you in any situation, it needs to be regularly checked and maintained. If you want to learn more, stay tuned for our Part 2: PPE.