Working From Heights Safely – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

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Sofema Online (SOL)  considers the key issues to be addressed when working from heights.

Introduction Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Harnesses are the cornerstone of fall protection PPE, It is important to select the right harness based on the job's specific needs and the worker's body type.

The correct selection, use, and maintenance of PPE, combined with practical demonstrations and ongoing practice sessions, are key to ensuring the safety of workers operating at heights.

It's important for organizations to prioritize these aspects and overcome any challenges through careful planning and commitment to safety standards


Types of PPE for Working at Heights

         >> Harnesses: Full-body harnesses distribute fall forces throughout the body, significantly reducing the risk of injury.

>>  They should be selected based on the type of work and the specific environment (e.g., electrical work might require non-conductive harnesses).

         >> Lanyards: These are used to connect the harness to a secure anchor point.

>> There are different types of lanyards, such as shock-absorbing lanyards which reduce the forces exerted on the body in the event of a fall, and positioning lanyards which help maintain a worker's position while allowing hands-free operation.

Retractable Lifelines: These devices allow for a range of movement but will lock in the event of a rapid movement, such as a fall, to prevent the user from hitting the ground.

Anchor Points: While not wearable PPE, proper anchor points are crucial for effective fall protection. They must be strong enough to support the weight of the person and equipment.

Correct Use and Maintenance of PPE

>> Inspection: PPE must be inspected before each use for signs of wear, damage, or degradation.

>>  This includes checking for frays in lanyards, cracks in buckles, and any other signs that the equipment may not perform as expected.

Fitting: Proper fitting of harnesses is crucial. They should be snug but comfortable, with no loose straps.

>>  Incorrectly fitted PPE can fail to protect the wearer properly in the event of a fall.

Maintenance: Regular maintenance is key to ensuring the longevity and reliability of PPE.

>>  Follow manufacturer guidelines for cleaning and storage. PPE should be stored in a dry, clean area away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.

>> Replacement: Any PPE involved in a fall or that fails inspection should be immediately taken out of service and replaced.

Next Steps

Sofema Aviation Services and Sofema Online provide EASA - compliant regulatory and vocational training. Including 145 workplace best practices. Please see the respective websites or email  


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