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Contaminated or damaged work at height equipment

Hazard Knowledge

Contaminated or damaged work at height equipment can present a significant hazard to operators relying on it to prevent a fall. Contamination may occur as a result of the location of the equipment while in use or being stored, while damage is usually caused through misuse or exceeding working load limits.

Soft textile-type height safety equipment, including ropes and lanyards, is the most susceptible to damage from unprotected edges in the work at height environment. Causes of damage include:

  • Sharp edges such as those found on steel work, cable trays, gratings, glass fa├žades or composite panels
  • Abrasive edges and surfaces such as coping stones, rock protrusions and corroded structures
  • Trapping and cutting areas such as manhole cover, hatches or doorways
  • Heat sources and the risk of melting from, for example, hot pipes, exhaust gases or lighting
  • Corrosive substances such as chemical deposits or spillages