Taking Trade Schools Into the Future: The Next Chapter

Conquering a Fear of Working on Scaffolding

Training to set up, safety check and work on scaffolding can give you a lot more opportunities for work, with special skills and qualifications that are often quite sought after.

While it would possibly not be the wisest decision to begin training in scaffolding if you were terrified of heights, there are some people who don't realise they have such a fear until they're in a situation where it's tested.

If you find yourself getting nervous whenever you need to work at height, don't panic — there are ways to help your fear go away. And definitely don't have a change of heart about your training, because it will get better in time if you follow a few guidelines.

Respect your fear

It's important to remember that humans have a fear response for a reason — it helps you stay safe. While there are plenty of phobias that are irrational and don't serve any useful purpose, a fear of heights isn't one of them; at least, up to a point.

Being nervous and feeling a bit afraid when you're working up high keeps you alert and helps you ensure you're aware of your surroundings. In this situation, complacency can be dangerous, so remember that being afraid is not only understandable, it's helpful.

Trust the equipment

You'll never be working high up without good safety equipment. If you are, your employer or trainer is breaking the law. Take an interest in the function of the equipment you're using, and make your role in safety checks active, asking questions and making suggestions. It will make you feel much safer when you realise how much you're protected. Proper scaffolding training can prepare you for this.

Take it slowly

Never be afraid to wait a bit until you push yourself further. The person carrying out your training has a responsibility for your safety, and that includes making sure you're happy with the process. If you only want to go to a certain height, speak up and let them know.

Spend more time up high

While you should never be climbing scaffolding alone without supervision, there may be safe ways to increase your exposure to high places. Tall buildings, cliffs, bridges — spending some time visiting any of these can make you feel more confident with heights for the next time you're on scaffolding.

Make sure it's not serious

Despite the advice here, you shouldn't continue trying to deal with your fear on your own if it's particularly bad. And if you feel like you're moving and get very dizzy when you're high up, stop working and see a doctor — you might have vertigo.