When it comes to tasks such as taping and floating, hanging ceiling grid, and installing tiles, stilts provide an efficient and cost-effective solution. Stilts, however, can also pose a threat to those who are using them if they are not used correctly.
To identify hazards associated with walking stilts, a hazard assessment must be conducted, including, but not limited to:
- Inspect stilts for damage or defects.
- Have them repaired by someone qualified by the manufacturer or replace prior to use if damaged.
- It is only advisable to modify stilts by someone who has been approved by the manufacturer.
- Not everyone is able to use stilts. It is necessary for users to be able to maintain good balance and coordination, and they should not be afraid of working at heights.
- Changes in level or slope of the work area – Surfaces must be flat.
- Guardrails – Guardrail height must be increased by height of the stilts.
- Leading edges – Additional fall protection must be used.
- Holes – Unless the floor is free of pits, holes, or other obstructions, stilts should not be used.
- Overhead hazards.
- The area around people working on stilts in the area should be free of trash, debris, materials, cords, water, and other slip and trip hazards.
- For mounting and dismounting stilts, a rigid platform should be used with a height equal to or greater than the stilts’ height.
- Step ladders should never be used for mounting or dismounting.
- It is also unacceptable to step up on one stilt and balance on the second, then bend to fit the second stilt.
- Stilts should always be worn with the torso completely vertical. Never bend down while wearing stilts.
- If you are fatigued, do not use stilts.
- Wearing stilts while walking up or down stairs is not recommended.
- You should never walk backwards.
- Keep items above your knees when picking them up.
- Ensure that the area where stilt users walk is clean at all times.
- Stilts may not be used on a scaffold unless it is a large area scaffold.