Working At Height MINIMISE THE LIKELIHOOD OF AN INCIDENT OCCURRING;

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1 Working At Height MINIMISE THE LIKELIHOOD OF AN INCIDENT OCCURRING; The method for determining the action required is by risk assessment. An overview for undertaking a risk assessment for working at height is included as Appendix 1. Good practice and legislation indicate that where working at height is deemed necessary arrangements must be made to reduce the risk of injury to a minimum, therefore work at height should only take place if there is no other practical alternative. Where possible you should not be asked to work in any area where there is a risk of falling, if this is not possible suitable edge protection

2 should be used and lone working avoided. All equipment used during the course of working at height must be suitable and sufficient for the task, and fall arrest/ fall protection equipment must be used if deemed necessary. Personal Protective Equipment should only be used when all other safety measures have been implemented and a residual risk that is un-acceptable remains. People working at height must be adequately trained and any equipment (such as harness/lanyards or fall arrest equipment) must be regularly inspected, visually before use and formal inspection made and documented by a competent person at minimum 6 monthly periods. Inspection periods may be more frequent if determined by the condition and use of the equipment, manufacturers recommendation or risk assessment. Ladders & Stepladders Ladders are a useful means of working at height although they should be considered only when safer equipment, as far as reasonably practicable is not suitable for the work being undertaken. Ladders should not be the first consideration for working at height operations. Example Ladder Inspection form/checklists are produced as Appendix 2 and may be used as appropriate. Formal inspection should be made at 6 monthly periods and be recorded; visual inspections must be made before use. Ladders if used must be suitable for the work being undertaken; therefore ladders made of an appropriate material that is suitable for the task i.e. a ladder being used close to an electricity source should be constructed of a non-electricity conducting material. All persons using ladders must be trained and competent to use them. Harness & Lanyards Where operational need and risk assessment identify lanyards and harnesses are required this equipment should be provided as personal protective equipment. There is great variation regarding harness design dependent on the manufacturer and the use the equipment is required for, therefore expert advice should be sought. Everyone using such equipment must be suitably and sufficiently trained. Harnesses must be checked at 6 monthly intervals and visual checks made prior to every use, damaged, worn or ill fitting harnesses must be removed from use. Lanyards must always be anchored to a robust non-movable anchor point when harnesses are used.

3 Fall Arrest Equipment Fall Arrest equipment should be provided when risk assessment and operational needs have identified it as a control measure. This type of equipment should only be used when all other control measures fail to adequately ensure the safety of workers, and not as a stand-alone solution to working at height operations. Fall Arrest equipment has limitations to its use and should only be used by suitably and sufficiently trained persons. The need to formally and visually check is paramount as the consequences of equipment failure may lead to serious or fatal injury. Fall arrest equipment that is faulty or poorly maintained must be withdrawn from use. There is a need to anchor fall arrest equipment, separate legislation other than the Working at Height Regulations are in place and must be complied with, further advice should be sought.. D. RISK ASSESSMENT Risk Assessments should be completed for operations involving working at height and be appropriate to the task, where necessary they should be specific assessments bespoke to the work being undertaken and identify significant hazards including working at height. The following hazards should be included in risk assessments involving working at height- The distance and potential for falling. The frequency and duration of work The surface that any equipment used is being sited upon. The environment including weather. Physical limitations such as adjoining structures. Access and egress. Arrangements for emergency attendance of rescue and medical services. The task and abilities of staff involved. Risk Assessments should identify hazards and detail Control Measures prior to work being undertaken. Safe Systems of Work may need to be written and communicated as appropriate. Safe Systems of Work may be verbal but normally take the form of written codes of practice. In most circumstances young persons should not be allowed to work at height unless this is necessary for

4 them to gain experience that cannot be provided by working at ground level, under these circumstances a specific risk assessment must be undertaken and suitable and sufficient supervision must put in place. A worked example of a risk assessment including working at height operations is included as Appendix 2. Appendix 1: Examples of a Ladder Checklists & Ladder Inspection Forms LADDER CHECKLIST 6 MONTHLY The appointed person whom carrying out six monthly inspections of ladders must do so using the following table and using a Ladder Inspection Form, an example is detailed below: LADDER PART CONDITION ACTION Wooden Rungs Missing Split Damaged Wire ties broken Wooden Stiles Split Damaged Warped The ladder is to be taken out of service immediately, Safety feet attached, if secured and thereafter fitted destroyed to prevent reuse. Metal Rungs Missing Cracked Weld Joint Buckled Metal Stiles Twisted Safety feet attached, if fitted

5 All Parts of both wooden and metal ladders. All accessories bolts / pins All parts of wooden ladders. Paint has been applied. Grease or oil deposits present. Missing Loose A clear preservative or varnish has been applied. This is acceptable as the condition of the timber can still be assessed.

6

7 Appendix 3: Risk Assessment-Worked Example. Assessment date Persons who may be 30 th November 2005 Operative Area or Activity assessed: affected by the activity (i.e. are at risk) Maintenance and repair of bell installation and access to tower roof Total no. of continuation sheets used: SECTION 1: Identify Hazards - Consider the activity or work area and identify if any of the hazards listed below are significant (tick the boxes that apply). 1. Fall of person (from work at height) * 5 2. Fall of objects * Slips and Trips, housekeepin g Manual handling operations Layout, storage, space, obstructions Heating, lighting & ventilation Condition of building & glazing Electrical hazards or Equipment Use of portable tools / equipment Fixed machinery or equipment Fire hazards & flammable material Hazardous fumes, dust Noise 18. Lone working Moving Bells

8 SECTION 2: Risk Controls - For each hazard identified in Section 1, complete Section 2. *List any additional hazards in the spare boxes Hazard No. Hazard Description 1 Fall from height 2 Fall of objects Existing controls in place to reduce risk - you must check that these controls are actually working 1.1 Three points of contact to be maintained whilst working on ladders. 1.2 Ladders secured top and bottom during work operations. 1.3 Ladders checked visually prior to use by operative. 1.4 Formal ladder inspection at 6 monthly intervals Ladder training session attended. 1.6 Roof work undertaken only after Specific Risk Assessment is completed No person under 18 years of age works at height unless Specific Risk Assessment is completed. 2.1 Area underneath ladder secured from Access to un-authorised persons. 2.2 No fallen object to be left in-situ. Residual Risk Further action needed to reduce risks Reduced Risk S P R S P R Specific Risk Assessment to be undertaken if significant risk is identified at specific locations and risk is not adequately controlled Name of Assessor(s) A.N Other SIGNED Department

9 Health and Safety Risk Assessments continuation sheet Assessment Reference No SECTION 2 continued: Risk Controls Continuation sheet number: 1 Hazard No. Hazard Description 4 Lone working /Out of hours Existing controls in place to reduce risk you must check that these controls are actually working 4.4 Operative books on and off of job with Supervisor. Residual Risk Reduced Risk S P R S P R

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