Risk Management Strategy. January 2016 January 2019 Working; Height; Risk; Assessment; Hazard; Fall Health and Safety Policy

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1 Corporate Working at Height: Standard Operating Procedure Document Control Summary Status: Version: Author/Title: Owner/Title: Approved by: Ratified: Related Trust Strategy and/or Strategic Aims Implementation Date: Review Date: Key Words: Associated Policy or Standard Operating Procedures New v1.0 Date: January 2016 Nick Hulme - Health, Safety and Security Advisor Liz Lockett - Associate Director or Quality and Risk Policy and Procedures Committee Date: 21/01/2016 Policy and Procedures Committee Date: 21/01/2016 Risk Management Strategy January 2016 January 2019 Working; Height; Risk; Assessment; Hazard; Fall Health and Safety Policy Contents 1. Introduction Purpose Scope Process for the Safe Working at Height Process For Monitoring Compliance And Effectiveness References... 5 Appendix 1 - HSE Guidance on Risk Assessment for Working at Height... 6

2 Change Control Amendment History Version Dates Amendments 1. Introduction The Trust has in place a Health and Safety Policy which sets out the Trust s overall approach to health and safety, details the organisational arrangements, responsibilities, sets out the arrangements including providing information and guidance on compliance with legal requirements through the use of policies, procedures, standard operating procedures and other media and for consulting with staff through the health and safety committee. The purpose of this SOP is to highlight the health and safety issues around Working at Height. The topic covered by this SOP requires the non-trivial risks to be assessed and control measures implemented as per the non-clinical risk assessment and management SOP. When risks are identified, appropriate changes will be made to manage and where possible improve the situation. Records of risk assessments will be kept in each department, communicated to staff in a useable and understandable manner and readily accessible to staff for them to view. This SOP should be read in conjunction with the Health and Safety Policy 2. Purpose All work at height is hazardous and therefore any work which necessitates working at height it should be properly risk assessed and a safe method of working identified and implemented. This Standard Operating Procedure has been developed to ensure robust processes when working at height. 3. Scope This Standard Operating Procedure applies to all staff within South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. The majority of the work within the Trust which constitutes working at height is at a low level and is low to medium risk e.g. access to shelves but it is still a risk. It is a frequently occurring activity across the organisation. The majority of such work can usually be managed by simple measures e.g. kick-step (elephants foot) or small step ladders. (NOT by climbing on chairs etc.). Page 2 of 6

3 The normal use of ladders or step ladders does not provide measures which either prevent falls or minimise the consequences. Therefore it must be shown that it was not reasonable to select alternative equipment because the task is low risk and short duration. Ladders are generally limited to simple short duration work, usually of a one-off nature. The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) regulations do not prevent use of ladders but they must be appropriate to the task AND the time duration to complete the task. Certain tasks by their nature and/or duration can never be safely conducted or be suitable for ladder use e.g. where heavy, awkward to handle objects are involved or two handed carrying / work is involved and must be done by other means of access. HSE's Key Message: Ladders should only be used for low-risk, short-duration work. Always check your ladder before you use it and know how to use it. All access equipment should be used by a competent person in its erection/use/dismantling or operation. 4. Process for the Safe Working at Height This information should be used to identify when people are working at height and the issues to consider: 4.1 What is Work at Height? Work at height means work in any place where, if precautions were not taken, a person could fall down and injure themselves. If they: work above ground level could fall from an edge, through an opening or fragile surface, or could fall from ground level into an opening in a floor or hole in the ground Working at height the person may fall from one level to another. Examples of work at height include: using working platforms such as scaffolds, tower scaffolds, cherry pickers, scissor lifts and podium steps; work on a roof, piece of plant or equipment; using ladders or stepladders. 4.2 What Precautions Need to be Taken? Work at height may be a one off, or routine. The assessor will need to make sure they identify all tasks, which require work at height, so they can make sure they are carried out safely. The key to preventing injury from work at height is to carry out a risk Page 3 of 6

4 assessment, so the right precautions can be implemented. This is a simple process, answering the following questions will help do this: Can Need to Work at Height be Avoided in the First Place? Long-handled tools or other equipment can sometimes be used to safely carry out a task from ground level, e.g. a long-handled brush or roller for painting and water-fed poles with brushes for window cleaning. Think about whether it is possible to design out the need to work at height, e.g. could new or replacement services, such as pipes or cables, be put at ground level? If the need to work at height can t be avoided, the risk of a fall should be prevented. Can a Fall be Prevented? This can be done by: using an existing place of work. This is a place that is already safe, e.g. a roof with permanent guard rails or a parapet around the edges; or a piece of plant or equipment that has fixed, permanent guard rails around it using work equipment. If an existing place of work cannot be used, consider the use of work equipment to prevent people falling. Tower scaffolds, podium steps, cherry pickers and scissor lifts are some common examples of work equipment, which will do this because the working platforms have guard rails. If regular access is required, e.g. to an air conditioning unit on a roof, it may be reasonable for the client/building owner to create a safe place of work by installing permanent guard rails to and around the work area. If measures cannot be put in place to prevent a fall, the risk should be limited by minimising the distance and/or consequences of a fall. 4.3 Minimising the Consequences of a Fall Aim to avoid and then prevent a fall before using measures that will only minimise or limit the consequences. Airbags and safety nets are examples of such measures, because they should minimise the risk of injury if someone falls. Fall arrest equipment will also minimise injury if someone falls, providing the equipment is set up correctly, users know how to look after it and they understand its limitations. 4.4 Other Additional Measures to Reduce the Risk of a Fall When using any equipment for work at height, it is important to ensure: the people using it are trained to use it safely it is regularly inspected and well maintained, and the work is supervised to check people are working safely Page 4 of 6

5 4.5 Identification of Any Fragile Surfaces It is important to be particularly aware of fragile materials when working at height as their presence in, or near the working area, increases the risk. A fragile surface is one, which would be liable to break if a person worked on it or fell onto it. Common examples include, fibre and asbestos cement roof sheets and many skylights, but could also include materials which have deteriorated over time including weather damage e.g. brittle or water damaged. It is important to: avoid the need to work on or near or pass across them by, e.g. repairing a skylight from underneath using a tower scaffold or from above using a cherry picker; prevent a fall by using fixed walkways with guard rails to get across a fragile asbestos cement roof or use suitable working platforms with guard rails during work on or near a fragile surface; minimise the consequences of a fall by using nets, airbags or fall arrest. 5. Process for Monitoring Compliance and Effectiveness Monitoring of the implementation of this SOP will be through monitoring of and responding to regular environmental assessments and audits and monitoring of incidents and near misses. 6. References Health and Safety Executive Working at Height - Page 5 of 6

6 HSE Guidance on Risk Assessment for Working at Height Appendix 1 Can you Avoid working at height in the first place? If No, go to Prevent Can you Prevent a fall from occurring? If No, go to Minimise Can you Minimise the distance and/or consequences of a fall? Using ladders and stepladders Do as much work as possible from the ground. Some practical examples include: using extendable tools from ground level to remove the need to climb a ladder installing cables at ground level lowering a lighting mast to ground level ground level assembly of edge protection You can do this by: using an existing place of work that is already safe, e.g. a non-fragile roof with a permanent perimeter guard rail or, if not using work equipment to prevent people from falling Some practical examples of collective protection when using an existing place of work: a concrete flat roof with existing edge protection, or guarded mezzanine floor, or plant or machinery with fixed guard rails around it Some practical examples of collective protection using work equipment to prevent a fall: mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) such as scissor lifts scaffolds/tower scaffolds An example of personal protection using work equipment to prevent a fall: using a work restraint (travel restriction) system that prevents a worker getting into a fall position If the risk of a person falling remains, you must take sufficient measures to minimize the distance and/or consequences of a fall. Practical examples of a collective protection using work equipment to minimize the distance and consequences of a fall: Safety nets and soft landing systems, e.g. air bags, installed close to the level of work An example of personal protection used to minimize the distance and consequences of a fall: Industrial rope access e.g. working on a building façade Fall-arrest system using a high anchor point For tasks of low risk and short duration, ladders and stepladders can be a sensible and practical option. If your risk assessment determines it is correct to use a ladder, you should MINIMISE the risk by making sure workers: Use the right type of ladder for the job Are competent (you can provide adequate training and/or supervision to help) Use the equipment provided safely and follow a safe system of work Are fully aware of the risks and measures to help control them. Follow HSE Guidance on safe use of ladders and step ladders at

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