ALL SEASONS GROUP SERVICES (SOUTH WEST) LTD WORK AT HEIGHT PART 19

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1 Introduction The Health and Safety at Work Act at Section 2 establishes the duty to provide a safe place of work, including safe access and egress. Further guidance on this duty is set out in the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations, which, through an Approved Code of Practice remained the principle guidance on work at height outside of the construction industry until the enactment of the Work at Height Regulations. The Work at Height Regulations apply to all work at height where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury. A place is at height if a person could be injured falling from it, even if it is at or below ground level. Work includes moving around at a place of work (except by a staircase in a permanent workplace) but not travel to or from a place of work. For instance, a sales assistant on a stepladder would be working at height, but it is unlikely you could apply the Regulations to a mounted police officer on patrol. The Work at Height Regulations place duties on employers and the self-employed. They also apply to any person that controls the work of others (for example facilities managers or building owners who may contract others to work at height). The regulations also apply to those who work at height providing instruction or leadership to one or more people engaged in caving or climbing by way of sport, recreation, team building or similar activities in Great Britain. Safety tip: Climbing activities are not covered in this guidance, this is a specialist area. Information on the application of the Work at Height Regulations to the recreational sector can be obtained from the Mentor Health and Safety Advice Line. As part of the Regulations, duty holders must ensure: all work at height is properly planned and organised; those involved in work at height are competent; the risks from work at height are assessed and appropriate work equipment is selected and used; the risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled; and equipment for work at height is properly inspected and maintained. The regulations establish a hierarchy for managing and selecting equipment for work at height. Duty holders must take steps to: avoid work at height where they can; use work equipment or other measures to prevent falls where they cannot avoid working at height; and where they cannot eliminate the risk of a fall, use work equipment or other measures to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall should one occur.

2 The Regulations include schedules giving requirements for existing places of work and means of access for work at height, collective fall prevention (e.g. guardrails and working platforms), collective fall arrest (e.g. nets, airbags etc), personal fall protection (e. g. work restraints, fall arrest and rope access) and ladders. Some of these areas are covered below. Safety tip: need to refer to a schedule from the Work at Height Regulations contact the Mentor Health and Safety Advice Line for further guidance. Planning the work Where there is a requirement to work at height, due consideration will be given to where the work will be done and an assessment made to ensure adequate precautions are taken to minimise the risks identified. Safety tip: If you manage a workplace, control the work of others or your work activities include activities where you work at height, make a list of the activities, ensure they are subject to risk assessment and the appropriate guidance from the Work at Height Regulations is followed If there is no existing structure that can provide safe access and a safe place of work, then an extra working platform will need to be provided. The most appropriate platform will be determined by the nature and duration of the work to be undertaken. Principles for Safe Work at Height No work should be undertaken at height unless it is essential if reasonably practicable bring the task down to a lower level Where work at height is necessary then a risk assessment must be undertaken prior to work commencing and a suitable method and safe system of work established and implemented Any access equipment or working platform (fixed or mobile) must be checked to ensure that it is: suitable; stable and secure will support the weight of workers using it and any equipment and materials likely to be used on it; has guard rails, barriers and edge protection (including floor edges, floor openings and roof edges) (in particular where someone could fall) so as to prevent falls;

3 is being used in accordance with, and conforms to the schedules of the Work at height Regulations and all other available guidance and best practice; Where the potential for falls cannot be totally eliminated then means to minimise the consequences of a fall should one occur will be used (e.g. fall-arrest harnesses, nets etc.) Precautions will be taken to prevent injury to any person who may be, or pass, in the area beneath the work at height. Safety tip: where you have completed a risk assessment and safe system of work Access for working and at Working height Scaffolds make sure you take the time to brief your employees and others All involved scaffolding the where work about used the must hazards be designed, and erected, modified and dismantled by competent controls identified. persons Don t having assume due regard that to just the likely nature of use and loading of the platform. because people always work at height, it will be safe not to brief them Safe access to the working platforms must be provided, for example, by the use of tied ladders projecting sufficiently above the landing (i.e. 1200mm). To restrict access any ladder access will be removed or boarded over to prevent unauthorised use if scaffold is to remain in position unattended. Scaffold access and working platforms should be provided with guard-rails, mid-rails & toe boards (or by brick guards) Sheeting should not be applied to scaffolds unless it is designed to take the extra wind-loading. Good standards of housekeeping should be maintained on working platforms to reduce the risk of materials/ tools falling and slips/ trips. All scaffolding will be inspected by a competent person and a written record will be kept: before first use; after any substantial modification (modification to be performed by a competent person); after any event likely to have affected its stability (e.g. strong winds, vehicle or other major impact); at regular intervals not exceeding 7 days Safety tip: use a sacftag system to identify the scaffold, when it is safe to use, details of the last inspection and the next inspection due date. Arrange for the scaffold contractor to inspect the scaffold before first use, every seven days and after adverse weather. Don t do this if your not trained and competent to do so.

4 Tower Scaffolds The use, erection and dismantling of tower scaffolds will be undertaken in accordance with manufacturer s instructions by a competent person with particular regard to height and stability. If the scaffold is hired an instruction manual will be obtained with the equipment. Competence to erect a scaffold tower should be based on formal training which is updated regularly, experience of using scaffold towers and knowledge of its intended use and work environment. Towers should only be used on firm level surface and the height to minimum base dimension ratios must be observed: outdoors work maximum 3:1; indoor work maximum 3.5:1 or less according to circumstances and reference to the manufacturer s instructions. Outriggers or stabilisers must be used to increase stability when practicable. Ties may also be required. Safe access to the working platform must be provided, for example, by the use of an internal ladder or where the frame has a purpose built in ladder or ladder frame. Any trapdoors in the working platform must be closed during use. Edge protection (guard-rails and mid-rails & toe boards or other suitable barriers) must be provided at platforms where a person or materials could fall. Care must be exercised where towers: are likely to be exposed to strong winds; are sheeted; have heavy materials lifted up the outside; or the base is too small to ensure normal stability - tie to a fixed structure or fit stabilisers Where towers are in public places permission may be needed from the local authority, especially where these impact on the highway or public rights of access. In these situations barriers must be erected at ground level to restrict access and ladder access must be removed or boarded over to prevent unauthorised use if the scaffold is to remain in position unattended Safety tip: using a tower in a public area, thoroughfare, walkway or road erect protective barriers to protect the tower from impact and collapse. Scaffolds towers must be inspected by a competent person prior to first use and thereafter at intervals not exceeding 7 days if it remains in situ. Scaffold towers fitted with wheels must have them locked during work and will not be moved with persons or equipment on the working platform Ensure the use of ladders or other equipment on the top of a tower is forbidden, such practices are unsafe and put life at risk. Mobile Access Equipment Where it is not possible to work from the existing structure and the use of scaffold working platforms is not appropriate, mobile access equipment such as mobile

5 elevated working platforms (MEWP) such as cherry pickers or scissor lifts may be used. Before any work starts a risk assessment should be documented for the equipments use and a safe system of work communicated to all those either involved in, or working in the vicinity of the work. Only trained and suitably competent authorised persons will be permitted to operate such equipment. Training will include emergency evacuation procedures, for example, in the event of a power failure. Records of training will be kept and authorisation confirmed by the employer. Safety tip: cherry pickers, scissor lifts and other mechanical access equipment with require thorough examination under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations. Check this has been completed in the last six months by a competent engineer. For hire equipment request sight of the LOLER certification from the hirer. A hand-over certificate must be obtained from the installer/ supplier that provides details of emergency procedures; how to operate, check and maintain the equipment; safe wind speed for operation; and its safe working load. A copy of the latest inspection and test certificate for the equipment must also be obtained. The area of operation should be fenced as a precaution against the risk of people being struck by the equipment or falling materials. Such equipment must only be used on firm level ground and due consideration will be paid to any overhead obstructions or risks prior to use (especially overhead electrical power cables). Fork lift truck work baskets may be used providing the truck used is suitable; the basket is designed for such use and is secured against falling; the maximum safe working load is marked on both pieces of equipment and the truck driver is suitably trained and remains in the truck at all times. All fork lift trucks and work baskets must have valid certificate(s) of examination and test Safety tip: the use of fork lift trucks to gain access or as a working platform by standing on the forks or upon a wooden pallet, skip, stillage or similar improvised platform is prohibited, it is illegal and a fall is likely to cause significant injury or fatality Restraint or fall-arrest harness & lanyards should be worn by all occupants of mobile access equipment and these will be suitably secured Safety tip: remember ladders are your last resort for gaining access to a workplace, they should only be used for short duration light work and the persons using them must be trained and competent

6 Ladders Only ladders of suitable and sufficient strength for their intended purpose should be used. All ladders must be placed on a firm level surface. Ladders must only be used for light duty work of short duration. The four to one rule must be strictly adhered to (i.e. the point of rest should be four times the distance between the vertical plane (at the point of rest) and the foot of the ladder) so as to give the ladder an angle of 75 degrees from horizontal.

7 Where practicable, the ladder must be secured to prevent slipping / displacement (preferably by tying at the top though side or bottom supports/ties may be appropriate), particularly where the ladder is 3 metres or more in length. Alternatively, a person must be positioned at the foot of the ladder ( footing the ladder) this should not be the primary preferred option. A person at the foot of, or below, a ladder must wear a safety helmet. Footing is not considered an effective means of securing ladders over 5m in height. Care must be taken to ensure that the work can be undertaken without stretching that may lead to instability and a fall. All ladders must be carefully stored and periodically inspected to ensure continued integrity and safety. Safety tip: Complete a ladder inventory with all your ladder and step equipment, ensure all ladders and steps are identified and suitable for intended use. Ensure all ladders and access equipment are inspected regularly against your equipment inventory and that damaged equipment is disposed of. Stepladders are easily overturned by any degree of side loading. All operatives must be instructed in safe usage. The top step of a stepladder must not be used as a working platform unless there is a knee-rest The area around the base of the ladder must be assessed and suitably protected as required from impact, for example from vehicle movements. Special purpose ladders may be required e.g. roofing and steeplejacks ladders. Training will be required for the safe use of such equipment Some ladders, especially long ladders, may need more than one person to erect safely

8 Fragile Materials You must as the responsible person take suitable and sufficient steps to prevent any person falling through any fragile material e.g. asbestos-cement roofing sheets and plastic or glass sheets such as roof-lights. No person should be permitted to work on or from fragile material (e.g. asbestoscement roofing sheets) through which they would be liable to fall unless suitable and sufficient platforms, coverings or similar means of support are provided, and used, so that the weight of any person can be adequately supported. In all cases the work should be subject to risk assessment and documented safe systems of work. Also you must ensure that no such work will be allowed to proceed unless suitable and sufficient guard rails or coverings are provided and used to prevent them from falling. Need more help on ladder safety? Contact: Mentor Services on Or Falling materials Precautions must be taken to prevent falling materials etc. The throwing of materials or tools etc is prohibited. Demolition debris must not be thrown from height. Debris nets or scaffold fans must be used to protect against falling materials where exclusion of persons in the area below is not reasonably practicable Tools must be carried, lifted or hauled to height in bags etc where practicable. Warning signs must be posted to warn of overhead working. Safety helmets must be worn where there is risk of falling materials etc.

9 Obstructions and overhead hazards There are many possible types of obstructions and overhead hazards of manmade & natural cause (e.g. building features such as pillars, beams, pipes etc, or trees etc.) Significant obstructions may prevent access equipment getting appropriately close to the required position or may hinder movement Obstructions may lead to restricted working space that can directly (e.g. banged head injury) or indirectly (e.g. manual handling injury) cause injury When working at height some obstructions bring special hazards that were previously beyond normal reach: electrical power cables & conductors such as busbars - electrical shock & burns either through direct contact or close proximity leading to arcing of current; pipes carrying steam, compressed air or chemicals release of contents or high or low temperature; radio and radar dishes and aerials electromagnetic / microwave heating etc.; radiant and infrared black heaters - burns and heating; moving machinery (e.g. cranes) & powered drive mechanisms (e.g. belts, chains, shafts etc.) impact or entanglement etc. Injury may be caused by obstructions and overhead hazards during the erection, use or dismantling of access equipment Communications Working at height can increase communication problems, especially between working platform and persons on the ground etc. Suitable means of verbal or signal communications must be provided and should be understood by all involved.

10 Weather Safe working at height outdoors can be very dependent upon suitable weather conditions. You should take note of weather records and recent reports / forecasts when planning & carrying out work at height. During or after any adverse weather, access and working platforms will require inspection to confirm safety. Strong wind can cause stability problems when using or working from ladders or cause access structures such as scaffold to become damaged. Wind may also cause materials to become difficult to handle or unstable. Extreme care must be taken and at times work should not take place. Rain, ice, frost or snow can cause conditions that are slippery and may lead to substantial additional loading. Extreme care must be taken and at times work should not take place. Lightning can create a deadly hazard during rain or at other times even from a blue sky. Extreme care must be taken and at times work should not take place when lightning is present nearby or the forecast lightning risk is high. You must ensure that the impact of weather conditions is fully considered in your task risk assessment. Using lifting equipment whilst working at height? Check the requirements of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment regulations have been met. Contact Mentor Services on Or

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