I was thinking of the time a well-meaning safety officer called me down off a crane to give me trouble for not using fall arrest protection where only fall restraint was required (there is a difference and the names say it all).
At times over the years I’ve paused while walking on a beam or hanging on a rope to look around at other work going on below and thought to myself that up above it all, I didn’t have to worry about anybody else’s screw-ups getting me killed.
When you’re on a busy work site you can fall victim to your own mistakes as well as those of the people around you. Working up high, you’re out of the bustle and if you were to be the victim of anybody’s incompetence it would most likely be your own; in that regard I think it’s safer to work aloft.
A basic truth about working at height is that if you can safely do something on a plank one foot off the ground then you can to it on a plank at any height; assuming that elevation is the only variable that changes. Another aspect of that same truth is if you can’t do it a foot off the ground without falling even once in 30 years then you need to play it safe and tie off.