Working at heights set high demands on the equipment, but also the user’s awareness of the risks connected to the job. We have interviewed people working at heights to hear what they think about their job and how they stay safe.
Anders Högberg has been working as a construction welder for 16 years. When we meet up with him he is working with installing steel structures on a large house construction outside Gothenburg in Sweden. The work is carried out at heights up to 30 meters and places great demands on the safety focus.
"I spend about 2/3 of my working hours at height and always work together with others. To work as safely as possible, I try to avoid being stressed and always think through all steps and what consequences, for example, a slope could lead to, both to prevent myself and others from being hurt.”
Anders does not think that it’s difficult to work at heights but admits that it is taking a bit more time to plan the lifts at the construction area and to move from position a to b. His fear of heights is no longer a problem, but was a challenge in the beginning.
“Well, at first I thought it was a bit hard to work at heights, but by continuously exposing myself for it, it became easier over time. But, of course, no one is forced to work at heights if they do not feel comfortable with it.”
For the work to be performed as safely as possible, only approved scaffolds and equipment are used. The safety harness and the helmet is always close to hand and in addition everyone is equipped to be able to help a colleague in need. So far Anders haven’t had to use the equipment to help himself or someone else. Besides using the right safety equipment Anders stresses the importance of good work wear and shoes.
“Good safety shoes are really important. They should not be slippery and needs to fit tightly to your feet to give full support. Also, good gloves are important, both that they provide a good grip but also that they are comfortable to wear.”
One of the strongest job-related memories is one from last year when Anders and his colleagues worked on the roof of a high-rise building in the outskirts of Gothenburg.
"We worked 70-80 meters up in the air hanging in safety harnesses on the edge. That’s a good view I can tell!"