Safety is an important aspect of building maintenance, whether you’re building a deck or repairing gutters.
When it comes to keeping your home or office in prime condition, you need property and building maintenance services. From rental properties to the family home, you can add value to your building over time with renovations, extensions, and maintenance.
To ensure your team is safe and your services are as efficient as they can be, consider these 10 safety precautions before you start on any job.
Follow these 10 steps to ensure your building maintenance is a success
1: Working at heights
Falling from a height is one of the biggest threats you face when completing building maintenance. If you’re working on a roof, climbing a ladder, or completing similar work, there are several precautions you should take to ensure safety.
In subsequent points, we will explore a few scenarios in-depth. However, before you begin working at heights, there are several factors you should consider first:
- Is there any way to avoid working from heights?
- Has your team completed appropriate training to work at heights?
- What are the weather conditions and how will this affect your work?
2: Working on roofs
When it comes to working at heights, the roof is one of the number one offenders. Some important things to consider when working on a roof include:
- Edge protection – such as scaffolding and safety rails
- Material analysis – is the material on the roof safe to work on?
- Training – has your team been trained to work on a roof?
- Asbestos – has the roof been checked for asbestos sheeting?
- Pitch – what is the angle of the roof and has this been considered in your planning?
3: Working on ladders
Ladders account for approximately 16% of deaths when working from heights, making them the most common cause of height-related fatalities. If you can acquire alternative equipment to complete the job, you should consider this. If you are using a ladder, remember to follow these steps:
- Check the condition of the ladder
- Ensure your ladder is on a stable surface
- Make sure the ladder is secured in place at the bottom and the top
- Make sure the ladder is tall enough so you don?t need to reach above it
- You should never have to lean or reach when using a ladder
4: Working on scaffolding
Scaffolding needs to be erected by a team of licenced scaffolders. If the scaffolding has been used, dismantled, or altered in the past, it?s also important to check that this work has been completed by professionals.
Scaffolding should also be inspected regularly to ensure it continues to meet strict Australian Standards. A few other considerations include:
- The scaffolding is secured to the building
- The scaffolding is kept away from power lines
- The scaffolding is designed to carry the full weight of material and people
5: Protecting your eyes and face
Depending on the type of work you’re doing, tiny pieces of material might fly into the air, leading to possible eye and face damage. Dirt, dust, grit, metal, wood, and even chemicals could be a hazard on the job site depending on the type of work.In these situations, all workers should wear safety eyewear.
If you wear prescription glasses or lenses, you have two options. You can either wear prescription safety equipment or your normal prescription eyewear if they fit neatly under the safety equipment.
6: Access considerations
Whether you’re working in the backyard or inside a roof cavity, safe access to the working space is another essential consideration. Access areas should be tidy, free of debris, and well lit. If you need to bring any equipment or machinery into the workspace, ensure this equipment can safely enter, exit, and be used in the space.
7: Manual handling and heavy lifting
When performing manual handling tasks like lifting and carrying, always keep the item you?re lifting close to your body. Lift with your thighs, and if it’s an option between pushing and pulling, always push. When moving heavy items, ensure the space around you is always clear so you don?t have to twist, turn, or stretch.
Whenever possible, use mechanical aids to lift heavy equipment, and never attempt to lift, push or pull anything if you don’t feel capable.
8: Protecting the head
Hard hats can protect you against debris, objects that fall from a height, and even electrocution. For this reason, it is highly recommended that headgear is worn when there is even the slightest risk of these occurrences.
9: Emergency planning
Even when you put all the appropriate measures in place, it’s essential to prepare for emergencies. Just some of the procedures you should put in place include:
- Locating the nearest hospitals and medical clinics before the job
- Know the number for emergency services (000 in urgent situations)
- Ensure escape routes are clear
- Maintain a stocked first aid kit and ensure staff members are trained in first aid
10: Hire the right professional for the job
When it comes to property and building maintenance services, you should never compromise on efficiency, safety, or quality. Choose a professional who can maintain rental properties, pre-sale properties, and the family home. As well as this, they should help you with everything from patios, fencing, and retaining walls to extensions, alterations, new flooring and even furniture assembly.
With the best team for repairs and projects and the right safety measures in place, you can focus on getting the very best out of your property.