Work at Height The New Regulations BACKGROUND AND APPLICATION Background to the Regulations The new Work at Height (WAH) Regulations deal with a major problem in safety: 50% of fatal accidents result from falls from height 25% of all serious injuries result from falls from height Many people are permanently disabled 1
Existing Regulations The WAH Regulations draw from existing regulations, adding the European Directive requirements. Existing Regulations include: Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996 (CHSG) - 2 Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1999 European Directive
Some of the WAH Regulations are taken from European requirements: - Work Equipment Directive has been amended to specifically include work at height - Directive requires selection of safe equipment for work at height 3
UK response to the European Directive WAH Regulations: 4 Apply to all work activities Will be in force under UK law in 2005 Apply to all employers, self-employed and employees
Are goal setting Sets out management of work at height from the start of the project What is Work at Height WAH Regulations define Work at Height as work in any place, including a place a) b) in the course of obtaining access to or egress from any place except by a staircase in a permanent workplace; at or below ground level, from which, if measures required by these Regulations were not
taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury; and any reference to carrying out work at height includes obtaining access to or egress from such place while a work. 5 Where do the new Regulations apply? The Regulations apply wherever people are working at any height. for example: 6 loading a lorry
loading shelves working on a hay stack all trade activities installing windows in domestic premises and many more activities Who has duties under the Regulation? Employers in relation to work - by an employee of his; or by any other person under his control, to the extent of his control.
Self employed in relation to work - by himself by any other person under his control, to the extent of his control. Employees to co-operate and to work safely 7 Who will be affected by the new duties? Anyone (e.g. Clients, Designers) who
- 8 plan ) specify control ) any work at height or the selection of work equipment
) Planners/Estimators Procurement / Purchasing Managers Facilities/Maintenance managers Hire industry Specialist trades people MAIN REQUIREMENTS What are the main requirements? Organisation and planning of work at height, including the selection of work equipment Competence of all concerned at all stages
Safe selection of equipment 9 Organisation and planning Work at height must be: - properly planned - appropriately supervised carried out in a safe manner The planning must include the proper selection of work equipment.
Sufficient time must be allowed to properly plan, the duty falls on all parties, including the client 10 Competence Every employer shall ensure that no person engages in any activity, including organisation, planning and supervision, In relation to work at height or work equipment for use in such work unless he is competent to do so or, if being trained, is being supervised by a competent person.
11 Competence The duty to ensure competence falls on the employer, not on the individual employee. A competent person is someone who, by appropriate mixture of qualification, experience and training is able to perform the specific activity in a safe manner. 12 Work at Height duties for: Organisation Planning and Competence
Duty Holder Those involved Duties Start of Project Design/Procurement Project Execution Project Execution
Planning and organisation by competent people of concept/design for safe work at height Designers, estimators, quantity surveyors (QS), specifiers/buyers Planning and organisation by competent people of design and selection of works equipment for work at height
QS, Buyers, contract managers, project managers, site managers/supervisors Organisation and supervision by competent people of all project work at height and selection of work equipment Estimators, contract managers, supervisors,
site workers Supervision and carrying out of specific work at height and selection of work equipment by competent people Selection of work equipment for work at height The Regulations require employers and the self-employed:
Avoid work at height, or if not reasonably practicable To take suitable and sufficient measures a) to prevent any person falling so far is reasonably practicable and b) to the extent that a fall is not prevented, to minimise the distance and consequences of any fall. 13
Selection of equipment The second level of the legal hierarchy when working at height is to select equipment which prevents so far as is reasonably practicable the user falling from that equipment e.g. working platforms with guardrails and toe boards. 14 Advantages of scaffolding working platforms User works in complete safety Equipment is clearly and visibly safer
Does not require the high level of supervision and training needed for MEWPS, cradles, nets or fall arrest equipment 15 Selection of other work equipment The third stage of the hierarchy is: - To the extent that a fall is not prevented, then equipment must minimise distance and consequences of a fall e.g. work positioning, rope access, nets, soft landing systems, and
harnesses. - Collective protection measures must have priority over PPE, e.g. nets before harnesses. 16 Selection of all work equipment Draft Regulation 7 lists issues which must be taken account of when making equipment selection, including:- 16a distances of travel and fall
additional risks from erecting, dismantling and use. equipment has appropriate dimensions. evacuation and rescue in an emergency Fragile Surfaces Fragile surfaces (e.g.: rooflights, asbestos or corrugated sheets) account for many fatal accidents. The Regulations require: - cover or guardrail off fragile surfaces - where a risk remains, provide fall arrest (Subject to change) SGB must provide protection for employees who have to work at or near fragile surfaces. SGB must advise customers about the need for covering and /
or fencing off fragile roof materials 17 OTHER REQUIREMENTS Other Requirements of WAH Regulations Inspection of work equipment Work equipment must be inspected after initial assembly on site before first use Work equipment must be inspected: - 18
at suitable intervals, and where there are exceptional circumstances liable to jeopardise safety. Inspection of scaffolding Under draft WAH, scaffolding must be inspected and weekly and a report written. CHSW requires weekly inspections and reports of all working platforms (i.e. includes scaffolding, cradles, mobile platforms, trestles, gangways, runs, gantries, stairways and crawling ladders) This inconsistency has been pointed out to the HSE who should correct it
19 Ladders and step ladders The Regulations permit ladders and step ladders only when a risk assessment has been carried out which demonstrates that 20 - use of more suitable work equipment is not justified because of: -
- the low risk and short duration of work (or restricted site conditions) Use of ladders Ladders should only be used as a place of work when other potentially safer means such as tower scaffolds are not reasonably practicable . (extract from draft HSE guidance paragraph 116) 21 Additional requirements for
scaffolding Four extra requirements from Directive: 1) a. Either strength and stability calculations or b. Designed to a generally recognised standard configuration 22 Additional requirements for scaffolding 2) a) An assembly, use and dismantling plan drawn up by a
competent person or b) a standard plan with supplementary details 23 Additional requirements for scaffolding 3) Scaffolding must be assembled, dismantled or significantly altered only under the supervision of a competent person 24
Additional requirements for scaffolding 4) Scaffolding must be assembled dismantled or significantly altered by persons who have received appropriate and specific training which addresses specific risks 25 Other work equipment for work at height The Schedules to WAH Regulations also place
further requirements on: Existing places of work Ladders Personal fall protection systems including rope access equipment Working platforms Guardrails Fall arrest equipment 26 Conclusion 27
The WAH Regulations place a new emphasis on early planning and involvement of all parties for work at height They will raise awareness, and enforcement will increase There is a risk of over-reaction, for example the banning of ladders
Competence at all stages of the process will become a key issue
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