Working at Height. Procedure

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1 Procedure *All Forth Valley College Health, Safety and Welfare Procedures are covered under the overarching Health, Safety and Welfare Policy. Status: Date of version: Reviewed by: Author/Contact Person; Overall responsibility for procedure: Responsibility for implementation: Responsibility for review: Approved March 2011 H&S Operational Team Director of Estates Development

2 Procedures The Regulations 2005 replaces all previous regulations relating to working at height. These regulations were made to prevent the deaths and injuries caused each year from falls at work and cover the specific requirements for safe working at height. Work includes moving around a place of work but not travelling to or from your place of work. Height is a place where a person could be injured by falling even if it is at or below ground level. Fragile Surface is any surface which would be liable to fail if any reasonably foreseeable loading were to be applied to it. The College restricts working at height. Only tasks that have been suitably risk assessed can be undertaken. No employee, service provider, student or contractor will undertake work at height without firstly complying with a suitable risk assessment which must adopt the hierarchy below: Students will only work at height if deemed necessary to cover their course work Risk Assessments and control measures must be in place and complied with Avoid working at height wherever possible Use work equipment or other measures to prevent falls where working at height cannot be avoided Where the risk of falls cannot be eliminated, use other equipment or other measures to minimise the distance and consequences should a fall occur. 1. Control Measures for Internal Work No staff or students are to use access equipment (such as tower scaffolds, ladders, mobile elevated working platforms) unless they are authorised and have received appropriate valid training. Any such activities must be identified and risk assessed as part of the college risk management procedure and if checked by a competent person prior to use. 2. Ladders Ladders can be permanent structures, on fixed or mobile plant, or moveable devices to gain access at height. In the case of temporary access, decide whether a mobile tower or scaffold would be a better method. Ladders can only be used if appropriate for the task to be carried out and only if a suitable and sufficient risk assessment has been carried out to evaluate the suitability of the access equipment. The assessment will take into consideration:- Health and Safety 2 of 5

3 Are ladders the most suitable piece of equipment for the task Is the work of short duration Can the works be carried out in a safe manner Is the correct type of ladder being used e.g. fibre glass for electrical work Competent Persons Responsibilities for Ladder Checks Whatever type of ladder, fixed or temporary, the following basic rules apply: The ladder should be tagged as part of an inspection schedule check Only use a ladder with a valid tag Carry out a visual check on the equipment before starting work Check the ladder is long enough Check the ground is firm Check the ground is level Check the ladder is secure at the top, bottom and mid way if necessary Look at the rungs are they all there and are they sound? Are all erected handrails sound and secure? Are footholds big enough? Check soles of shoes are they clean and dry? Climb up slowly using both hands on rails. Stay at least three rungs from the top to ensure you have a suitable hand hold. Tools, materials etc should not be carried in hands. Check landing area at top is safe once off the ladder. Never over reach and always maintain a three point contact. Before descending locate first foothold. Use all rungs do not jump or slide down the ladder. Check footing is safe at the bottom. Do not climb an unsafe ladder. Report defects immediately to your manager and get them rectified. Ladders must not extend more than 9m without an intermediate platform. Ladder rungs are not to be used to support platforms of any sort. Feet of the ladders are to be kept clean, free from contamination and maintained in good order, with rubber/plastic covers for metal ladders. Ladders should only be used; where they will not be struck by vehicles where pedestrians are prevented from walking beneath them where they cannot be pushed over by opening doors, windows and the like. Step Ladders Step Ladders may be used for accessing short term low reach activities and only if the step ladder is appropriate for the task and suitably maintained. At no time should a student, member of staff or visitor stand on any tables, or other fragile surface to carry out a task. If a task cannot be suitably carried out, then report the issue to the appropriate person (Line Manager, Estates and Facilities Department or Health and Safety Department) for a suitable solution to be agreed. 3 of 5

4 Note: Training is available from the Learning Resource Centre on how to use the keyboard commands to work the overhead projector therefore eliminating the need to stand on chairs etc to switch on the overhead projector. 3. Mobile Elevated Working Platforms (MEWP s) Mobile elevated working platform, such as cherry picker will only be used by trained, authorised, competent persons, under the control of the College Estates and Facilities Management. MEWP s are only to be used if; Authorised by Estates and Facilities Department Risk Assessment and Method Statement is suitable and sufficient The MEWP is placed on level, secure ground Locked in place- to prevent movement Weather conditions are suitable and winds are not excessive (if used externally). Barriers are erected below to segregate pedestrians from the potential falling materials. Users are fully trained and following a safe system of work The Safe Working Load (SWL) is adhered to; The floor load can support the MEWP. PPE or Accessories are suitable and worn. Formally maintained by hire company or owner to satisfy the statutory requirements of LOLER. 4. Tower Scaffolds The College may have some practical areas that require the use of tower scaffolds or mobile towers. Tower Scaffolds/Mobile Towers are to be tagged after inspection and erection. All users of tower scaffolds must be familiar with the risk assessment and safe system of work, prior to its use and follow all appropriate control measures. Only staff who have been trained in its safe use can erect and dismantle tower scaffolds. This can be demonstrated by a valid PASMA certification. Training All staff should have an up to date certificate evidencing their competence. Training courses should be delivered by recognised trainers and cover the requirements for teaching. 5. Scaffolding Any contract for the erection of scaffolding with only be done and controlled through Estates and Facilities Management. The requirement to carry out a thorough examination of scaffolding is covered in the Construction Design and Management Regulations Additional Control measures for External Work External works are only to be undertaken with authorisation from Estates and Facilities Management see Contractor Procedures Ensure all work at height is properly planned, arranged, appropriately supervised, carried out in a safe manner in accordance with the relevant risk assessment and that consideration has been given to any emergencies and rescue. 4 of 5

5 All external work at height will take into account the weather conditions prevailing at the time. If the conditions endanger either the health or safety of any person involved in the work it will be postponed and undertaken when conditions allow. That those persons involved in work at height are trained and competent to carry out the works. That the equipment selected is the most suitable to carry out the work. Where the work is to be carried out, including access and egress to the area. That roofs or landings are safe and that measures are in place to prevent falls by people and equipment. Ensure that no works take place on a fragile surface. If anyone does work on or near a fragile surface they must: - o o Ensure that suitable platforms, coverings and guard rails are provided and secured in place with appropriate warning signs displayed. Take steps to minimise the distance and effect of a fall if any risk of a fall remains. Materials or equipment, which are stored at height, must be prevented from falling and causing injury to any person. Materials and objects must not be thrown or tipped from any height. If the workplace contains an area where there is a risk of someone being struck by anything falling, that area is to be cordoned off, clearly signed so that unauthorised people cannot reach it. A Do Not Use tag to be placed if the equipment to be used of incomplete or unsafe. Associated Documents The Health, Safety and Welfare Policy Health and Safety Forms Additional Information: Health and Safety Executive Website: This Procedure has been screened to determine equality relevance for the following equality groups: race, disability, gender, pregnancy or maternity, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, religion or faith. The policy is considered to be equality relevant for people within these equality groups. This Procedure has been equality impact assessed to evaluate compliance with the College Equalities Policy. 5 of 5

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