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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
WORKING AT HEIGHT SAFELY IN GENERAL REPAIR & MAINTENANCE Andy Weaver SGB Group Product Marketing Manager
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 Height Key implications for all concerned • Planning and organisational practice • Competence • Changes in attitude to access product requirements • Product selection • Product innovation
Scope Everyone is affected : • Main Clients • Purchasing / procurement • Maintenance Managers • Hotel Management • R & M Contractors
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.” Regulation 5 of the WAH Regulations
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
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 Common themes • Low rise applications • Repetitive work • Short duration applications • Often low risk • Is a daily requirement
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 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 RISK ASSESSMENT…..
Work equipment According to the WAHR heirarchy we must :- • Avoid working at height • Prevent falls • Mitigate the consequences of a fall
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 • Risk assessment required to prove that safer equipment is not appropriate because of : • Low risk and • Short duration or site configuration
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 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 task………….
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 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 Steps • Fit through standard doorways • Easy access & egress
Room Scaffolds • Prevent falls • Light duty • For more than 1 person • Platform heights up to 6.0m • Narrow width • Mobile
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 • Platform heights up to 3.0m • Handrails • Platform guardrails • Toeboarded • Stabilised
Pop-Up Work Platforms • Stable work platform • Variable height options • One-piece units • Failsafe • Simple operation • Adjustable outriggers • Lightweight & compact • Easily stored
Stair scaffolds • For stairways & stairwells • Static unit • Through access • Narrow – less than 700mm wide • Stable • Safer than a ladder
Spanning scaffolds • Aluminium bridging platforms • Up and over access • Ideal for Offices & reception areas • Platform heights up to 2m • 2 persons + tools
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 • High density polyethylene • 150kg SWL • Block,bridge & step • Totally captive unit • Easy to move • Simply slots together • Handrail available
Powered Access • For larger external areas • For heavier duty applications • May reduce the risks of installation • Need level ground and operator skills
Conclusions • 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 • Advice • Interpreting customer needs • Staff competence • Set example • Product Innovation • Professional Services