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Introduction - working at heights

Introduction - working at heights

a skyscraper with scaffolding

There would be no buildings, office blocks, skyscrapers, but also renovated houses or restored townhouses, if it were not for the hard and dangerous work of people working at heights. Unfortunately, every year as many as several dozen people die as a result of negligence in the area of ensuring safe conditions for workers at construction sites. The cause is the same all the time: inadequate use or lack of collective belaying equipment, personal protective equipment, absence of supervisors and inadequate safety training. Experience in other European Union countries shows that the use of protective equipment has a significant impact on the number of accidents and reduces the number of accidents.  

In the case of collective protection, its elements include:  

  • Balustrades; 
  • Safety nets. 

If we are talking about personal protection on a construction site - these are things held or worn by a worker to protect him or herself from danger. Such items are harnesses otherwise known as safety harnesses).  

Safety harnesses - basic information 

As we have already established, safety harnesses are a very important and one of the essential items a person working at height should have. They are designed in such a way that the worker has full freedom of movement, while at the same time providing protection against falls from height. They are durable, damage-resistant materials. When a fall occurs, the fundamental role of a harness is to distribute the forces that act on a person's body and to optimise the position when a person falls from height. In addition, harnesses give the body the correct position when stopping a fall and enable the person to wait as safely and comfortably as possible for help.  

Fall protection training  

a person in a harness with another person by his side explaining the equipment

According to the Health and Safety at Work Regulations Ordinance, tasks carried out at height are classified as particularly hazardous. There is a very heavy responsibility on the employer to organise these. The supervisor should send his/her employee to a so-called height test and have certified health and safety training. General courses on fall protection are optional, but very useful. During such a course, the employee learns, among other things: 

  • How to use the harness according to the instructions and its method of operation; 
  • What is the construction and how does one adjust the harness;  
  • On belaying on horizontal and vertical structures; 
  • Health and safety principles; 
  • On basic legislation; 
  • How to perform safe work at height; 
  • On the selection of personal protective equipment.  

Trainees are required to be of legal age, have a valid examination and be in good mental and physical shape. 

Fall protection courses are primarily geared towards people working on construction sites doing work at height. They consist of theory and a practical part (often on a construction site designated by the client). 

The ERGON Personnel Improvement Centre provides training at a very high level in the field of worker protection against falls. We have more than 15 years of experience and our modern teaching methods allow us to impart knowledge in an effective manner. Our main centre is in Warsaw, but we also provide training in other cities such as Katowice, Gdańsk, Poznań, Bydgoszcz, Wrocław, Kraków and Bielsko-Biała. We invite you to contact us.