Working at Height Policy

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1 Working at Height Policy 1 Last updated: 2011

2 Working at Height Policy The Students Union Working at Height Policy is not contractual, but provides a framework to be used by all relevant personnel in complying with the Working at Height Regulations This policy applies to all employees of UPSU. Introduction This Code of Practice is aimed at all Line Managers who are responsible for supervising staff and others who Work at Height within UPSU. The Code of Practice provides a framework to be used by all relevant personnel in complying with the Working at Height Regulations Definition The term Working at Height is any place where a person could be injured falling from, including at or below ground level. For example: A member of staff on a stepladder is Working at Height. A member of staff working on a mobile platform fixing a light is Working at Height. The Working at Height Regulations 2005 What do they cover? The Regulations include the following areas: Existing places of work and area of access for Working at Height For example: Library Roof, Davy Building Roof Collective Fall Prevention. For example: Guard Rails and Toe Boards on scaffolding work Working Platforms: Any unit that supports persons from which working operations are carried out Fall arrest equipment. For example: Nets Personal Fall Protection. For example: restraints, work positioning, 2

3 fall arrest and rope access Ladders and Step Ladders Inspection Reports (working platform in construction only) The Working at Height Regulations 2005 applies to other Work at Height areas if there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury. This places responsibility on all Line Managers to ensure that proper safeguards are in place. In supervising this type of work, whether it is with UPSU staff or contractors, there is a responsibility to provide a Duty of Care. The Working at Height Regulations 2005 excludes such recreational activities such as caving, climbing or other similar activities. If any line manager has responsibility for a contractor working in their department, the following requirements should be completed prior to the work starting: Risk Assessment Safe System of Work Report any safety risk or unsafe working Always use the equipment supplied safely including safety devices following any training and instruction The competence of the person carrying out the work is to be confirmed prior to the work commencing Legal Framework The Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1966 The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulation 1999 Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 Safe Systems at Work All persons managing or supervising Working at Height must ensure that a Risk Assessment is carried out for each activity. 3

4 The following criteria should be adopted: Responsibility The person supervising the activity shall be responsible for the implementation of the following: All work at height is properly planned and organised All work at height takes account of weather conditions that could endanger health and safety Those included in Working at Height shall be trained and competent 4

5 The place where work at height is done is safe All equipment for work at height is appropriately inspected The risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled by roofs. The risks from faulty objects are properly controlled. Planning All persons supervising Work at Height must ensure that no work is done at height if it is safe and reasonable to do so another way All work should be properly planned, supervised and carried out in a safe and practicable way Plan for emergencies and rescue. Look at the Risk Assessment and complete a safe system of work Weather The responsible person must ensure that weather conditions are taken into account as part of the Safety Working Procedure. Inclement weather can endanger a persons health and safety and therefore a decision to delay or continue with the work activity must form part of the Safe Working Procedure. Training Any persons involved in Working at Height must be competent to do so. This involves training in planning, organisation, supervision and the supply and maintenance of equipment. This training may also involve how to avoid falls and ways of minimising or reducing injury through falling. Work Area The responsible person must ensure that any place where working at height is taking place is safe. This includes Access and Egress from the site and that systems are in place to prevent a fall. For example: Fall Arrest Systems. Equipment, Temporary Structures and Safety Feature When selecting equipment for working at height, the following must be Included in any safe system of work: 5

6 Use the most suitable equipment. Give collective protection measures (e.g. guard rails) priority over personal protection measures (e.g. safety harness). Take account of working conditions, including any risk to the person where work equipment is used Scaffolding should be designed, erected, altered and dismantled by competent people A safe system of work should be adopted for all scaffolding work All scaffolds require bracing to prevent collapse General purpose scaffolding should be four boards wide. They should be of such a height that the gap between the top of the toe board and the guard rail does not exceed 470mm and have a minimum height of 150mm There should be suitable access on to the working platform either by ladder or other means of access All ladders should be in good condition and suitable for the task All ladders should be secured so they cannot slip All ladders should be angled, to minimise the risk of slipping Access for ladders should be 1m above the working platform Do not over-reach on a ladder, make sure it is long enough for the task Do not use the top platform of a step ladder Use any step ladder in accordance with manufacturer s instructions Inspection All responsible persons shall ensure as far as possible that the surface, parapet, permanent rail or other such full protection at every place of work is checked before use In this Code of Practice, inspection means such visual or rigorous inspection by a competent person as is appropriate for safety purposes All responsible persons to ensure that each individual place at work is checked before work commences The responsible person must ensure that any platform used for (or for access to) construction work and from which a person could fall more than 2m is inspected in place before use and not more than 7 days before use The responsible person must ensure that he/she receives a report from the inspector within 24hrs of completing the inspection The responsible person should keep a record of the report on site until the work is completed and for three months thereafter 6

7 Fragile Surfaces The responsible person must ensure that no one working under his/her control goes onto or near a fragile surface unless that is the only reasonably practicable way of the work being completed having referred to the demands of the activity, equipment or environment If it is essential to carry out work on a fragile roof, the following must be taken into consideration Ensure as far as reasonably possible that suitable platforms, coverings, guard rails are used to minimise risk If, after doing as much as reasonably possible in the circumstances, there remains a risk of a fall, try to minimise the distance and effect of a fall At no time should anyone work on, from or pass over fragile materials, unless platforms, coverings or other similar means are provided that adequately support them Falling Materials It is important that the Responsible Person for any work area ensures good housekeeping. This involves the following measures being taken: Secure all material whilst working at height from potentially falling Do not throw any materials from a roof Use chutes or lower material to the ground using hoists Prevent access to potentially dangerous areas within site complex. Where this cannot be guaranteed, use debris netting, covered walkways or similar safeguards to prevent materials landing on persons below There is particular danger to the general public and therefore if possible work should be carried out during quiet periods, such as week-ends or at night Falling Objects Where it is necessary to prevent injury, you must do all that is reasonably possible to prevent anything falling If it is not possible to prevent an object falling, you must ensure that no-one is injured by anything falling The responsible person must ensure that nothing is thrown or tipped from height if it is likely to injure anyone The responsible person must ensure that all equipment is stored in 7

8 such a way that its movement is not likely to injure anyone If the workplace contains an oven in which there is a risk of someone being struck by a faulty object or person, you must ensure that the area is clearly designated and that it is cordoned off from public use Further Information The Work at Height Regulations 2005 BSEN 358 Personal Protective Equipment for Work Positioning and Prevention of Falls from height HSG 33 Health and Safety in Roof Work END OF POLICY 8

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