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WORKING AT HEIGHT SAFELY IN GENERAL REPAIR & MAINTENANCE Andy Weaver SGB Group Product Marketing Manager. WORK AT HEIGHT The SGB View. Work at Height. The new Regulations : Represent the most significant changes affecting work at height since 1966

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Working at height safely in general repair maintenance




Andy Weaver

SGB Group Product Marketing Manager

Work at height the sgb view


Work at height

Work at Height

The new Regulations :

  • Represent the most significant changes affecting work at height since 1966

  • Are already having a radical impact on many industries

Work at height1

Work at Height

Key implications for all concerned

  • Planning and organisational practice

  • Competence

  • Changes in attitude to access product requirements

  • Product selection

  • Product innovation



Everyone is affected :

  • Main Clients

  • Purchasing / procurement

  • Maintenance Managers

  • Hotel Management

  • R & M Contractors



“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.”

Regulation 5 of the WAH Regulations

Planning and organisation

Planning and Organisation

Work at Height must be :

  • properly planned

  • appropriately supervised

  • carried out in a manner that is safe as far as is reasonably practicable

  • planned including the selection of suitable work equipment in accordance with the Regulations

Working at height safely in general repair maintenance

Repair & Maintenance Access

  • The Finishing, Repair and Maintenance trades

  • Painting & decorating

  • Plastering & tiling

  • Heating & ventilating

  • Lighting & acoustics

  • High curtain railing –

  • ballrooms etc

  • Signage

  • Cleaning

Internal repair maintenance

Internal repair & maintenance

Common themes

  • Low rise applications

  • Repetitive work

  • Short duration applications

  • Often low risk

  • Is a daily requirement

Selection of suitable work equipment

Selection of suitable work equipment

The methods we

once used :-

  • The beer or milk crate

  • Chairs & stools

  • Tables

  • Steps and Ladders

  • Anything !

Selection of suitable work equipment1

Selection of suitable work equipment

We now need to assess every application :-

  • the distance to be negotiated

  • distance & consequences of a fall

  • duration and frequency of use

  • any additional risks posed by installation and removal


Selection of suitable equipment

Selection of Suitable Equipment

Work equipment

Work equipment

According to the WAHR heirarchy we must :-

  • Avoid working at height

  • Prevent falls

  • Mitigate the consequences

    of a fall

Preventing falls

Preventing Falls

  • In much repair and maintenance activity,the work is often of short duration and of a reptetive nature

  • The most often used solution is the

    Ladder or Stepladder

Ladders and steps

Ladders and Steps

  • Risk assessment required to prove that safer equipment is not appropriate because of :

    • Low risk and

    • Short duration or site configuration

Ladders steps definitions

Ladders & Steps : Definitions

Low Risk :

  • 3 points of contact

  • Limited height (up to 5m for example)

  • Can be anchored for regular work

  • Firm, level ground

  • Use of effective stabilising devices

    Short Duration :

  • BLMA (in consultation with HSE) suggest 30 mins

    NB: both above criteria must be met

New product innovations

New product innovations

There is now a plethora of new low-level products

available for repair and maintenance applications

enabling work to be undetaken in greater comfort and

with far less risk to the person carrying out the


Main product types

Main Product Types

  • Podium steps

  • Room scaffolds

  • Hop-up step platforms

  • Height adjustable Stepladders

  • Pop-Up work platforms

  • Stair & spanning scaffolds

  • Aluminium towers

  • Plastic blocks

    Mobile and static

    Aluminium / GRP

Podium steps

Podium Steps

Low- Level Internal platform to

prevent falls

  • Compact – 1 person

  • Generally 150kg safe working load

  • Up to 1.5m platform height (2.5m working)

  • Meet legal guardrail requirements

  • Mobile

  • Fixed and adjustable options

Podium steps1

Podium Steps

  • Fit through standard doorways

  • Easy access & egress

Room scaffolds

Room Scaffolds

  • Prevent falls

  • Light duty

  • For more than 1 person

  • Platform heights up to 6.0m

  • Narrow width

  • Mobile

Hop up step platforms

Hop-Up Step Platforms

  • For the lowest of levels

  • 500mm platform height

  • Guardrailed / unguardrailed

  • 110kg – 150kg SWL

  • Aluminium & alu/GRP

  • Non-slip decks

  • Replaces the beer crate

Height adjustable stepladders

Height Adjustable Stepladders

  • Platform heights up to 3.0m

  • Handrails

  • Platform guardrails

  • Toeboarded

  • Stabilised

Pop up work platforms

Pop-Up Work Platforms

  • Stable work platform

  • Variable height options

  • One-piece units

  • Failsafe

  • Simple operation

  • Adjustable outriggers

  • Lightweight & compact

  • Easily stored

Stair scaffolds

Stair scaffolds

  • For stairways & stairwells

  • Static unit

  • Through access

  • Narrow – less than 700mm wide

  • Stable

  • Safer than a ladder

Spanning scaffolds

Spanning scaffolds

  • Aluminium bridging platforms

  • Up and over access

  • Ideal for Offices & reception areas

  • Platform heights up to 2m

  • 2 persons + tools

Aluminium towers

Aluminium Towers

  • Prevent falls

  • For higher applications

  • More than one platform

  • Built-in ladder access

  • Stabilisers / outriggers

  • For all trades

  • PASMA Trained personnel

Plastic blocks

Plastic blocks

  • High density polyethylene

  • 150kg SWL

  • Block,bridge & step

  • Totally captive unit

  • Easy to move

  • Simply slots together

  • Handrail available

Powered access

Powered Access

  • For larger external areas

  • For heavier duty applications

  • May reduce the risks of installation

  • Need level ground and operator skills



  • Significant changes have already taken place since advent of WAHR in 2005

  • Changes in culture for many trades.

  • The lead is coming from the major contractors.

  • New equipment is being developed to meet the new requirements

  • Further major changes will continue for some time

  • We will not continue with the old ways!

The role of sgb

The Role of SGB

  • Advice

  • Interpreting customer needs

  • Staff competence

  • Set example

  • Product Innovation

  • Professional Services

Work at height in general repair maintenance

Work at Heightin General Repair & Maintenance

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