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Warning: Never allow your employee to work at elevated heights if he has any of these eight medical conditions

by , 31 July 2013
You probably know that falls from working at elevated heights are the single biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the main causes of injury. But do you know that, if your worker has a certain medical condition, he can't work at elevated heights? Read on to find out what these medical conditions are so you can protect the safety of your workers.

Any elevated work is classified as a high-risk occupation. And it's your responsibility to reduce the risks associated with this type of work.

One way to reduce these risks is to never allow employees with the following medical conditions to work at elevated heights as they could put the safety of their co-workers at risk.

Do your employees have these medical conditions? Never allow them to work at elevated heights

  1. Cardiovascular conditions: For example, hypertension. Your worker could collapse, lose consciousness or have a heart attack or stroke.
  2. Musculoskeletal conditions: 'Your worker can't have any disorders of the muscles, joints or spine which could impair manual dexterity, hand function, physical activity, manual handling, agility, balance and coordination,' says the Health and Safety Advisor.
  3. Visual impairment: If your worker is visually impaired, he won't be able to read gauges, documents, safety equipment and undertake tasks under different lighting and weather conditions.
  4. Neurological: This includes epilepsy. Neurological conditions affect the worker's balance through tremors and uncontrolled fits. Sometimes there's sensory loss which affects fine motor control, agility, mobility, coordination, movement and balance.
  5. Respiratory conditions: For example, asthma. Hard physical labour could lead to shortness of breath, collapse and losing consciousness.
  6. Ear, nose and throat conditions: These conditions affect the hearing. Your worker must have normal unaided hearing to be able to communicate through electronic devices and undertake safety and rescue functions in different environmental conditions.
  7. Uncontrolled diabetes: When sugar levels are too low or too high, aggressive behaviour, unconsciousness, impaired vision and even comas could occur.
  8. Psychological and psychiatric illnesses: This includes alcohol or other substance abuse. These lead to anxiety or major depression which affects judgment and insight. If your worker's cognitive function is impaired he may struggle to cope.

To be on the safe side, conduct a pre-placement medical screening to determine whether or not your employee has any of these medical conditions. If your screening reveals your employee suffers from any of these conditions, never allow him to work at elevated heights.


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