Taking Safety Home with you.
Here at Intesafety we believe that safety management affects all of us at all times. This is reflected in our values of Think Safe, Work Safe, Home Safe.
Much of the safety promotion we see is work related, yet Health and Safety awareness and management of risk is not solely a work specific responsibility.
ACC fatality statistics show that last year, 461 people died from home related accidents – with nearly a third (171) of these deaths involving falls. This includes falls from heights (for example: off ladders, roof edges or into voids like empty swimming pools) but also falls down stairs or off balconies.
At work, our employers require us to watch out for our fellow workers wellbeing by reporting and/or fixing workplace hazards. So why are we reluctant to take safety home with us?
The risk of injury does not disappear when you walk out the work gate. ‘Thinking Safe’ is not just a work thing – your safety and the safety of your partner, children and household pets require you to think a bit smarter at home.
Home safety tip
Take the standards and lessons learnt at work home with you and effectively manage your risks. We all should know by now that the best way to do this is to eliminate the hazard. For example, eliminating the need to access the roof and work at height to clean gutters by using a gutter wand, or ensuring that you keep walkways and stair landings clear of trip hazards.
We also recognise that elimination is not always possible, and that minimising fall exposure may be the best hazard control available. This might include using a scissor lift or scaffold to gain access, or using a harness system to protect you from a fall.
If in doubt, get the expert in
If you are considering the use of such items then think seriously about getting the experts in – “a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing” and the improper set up or operation of such equipment can pose a significant risk.
Check your gates, fences and balustrades to ensure these are secure and strong enough to prevent falls over or under them.
Tips for using a ladder at home
If using a ladder:
- Ensure it is in good condition, with no bent or damaged rungs or stiles and that any locking stays work effectively.
- Extend the top of your ladder approximately one meter above the landing and tie if off at the top to prevent it slipping.
- If you cannot tie the bottom off have someone foot the ladder.
- Always maintain three points of contact when climbing up or down the ladder. This means that at all times you have two feet and one hand, or two hands and one foot in contact with the ladder.
- Tools and equipment must be carried in a belt or passed or lifted up once the ladder is secure and you are in position.
These simple steps can significantly improve your home safety. How are you managing your fall risks?