The wellbeing of workers in the construction sector is largely dependent on using the right, properly tested safety equipment. However, whilst equipment can go a long way to safeguard workers, it’s not the end of the story. Workers too have a keen responsibility to work safely, with common sense and within the law.
There is, in a sense, top down responsibility. This means that in any workplace, not just in the construction sector, the legal responsibility for worker safety falls largely on those at the top, i.e. the employer. It’s of paramount importance that workers are given access to the proper training and the right equipment, and this equipment should be subject to, for example, regular safety line testing.
Where does worker responsibility fit into the picture? A worker might, to an extent, be at the mercy of their employer, and the equipment they are using, but there is a lot that they can do, themselves, to ensure at heights safety.
For instance, a worker should ensure that they attend all available training courses, and that any lapses in their knowledge are filled, they should ask questions and be prepared to seek help where they need it. They should also have the confidence to report any areas on site that they deem to be unsafe, supported with a good practical and academic knowledge of workplace health and safety, and surrounding issues.
Fall arrest equipment can make working at height infinitely more safe, but unless equipment is used with common sense and by adequately trained professionals it ceases to be effective.