Work At Height Regulations
In 2005, the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) issued work at height regulations designed to protect workers from the hazards of working at height. Many of these regulations fall upon the employer of such businesses that do much of their work at height to make sure that they are enforced.
Some of the key work at height regulations that the employer is responsible for are highlighted below.
• The tasks involving work at height must be planned properly, supervised by individuals that are competent, and carried out in a manner consistent with safety.
• The work at height should be at heights that are reasonable for the average person.
• Equipment must undergo frequent inspections by competent persons knowledgeable in such matters. Inspections are to be performed more frequently when equipment is in use during adverse weather conditions.
• All work plans must include rescue plans as well as emergency plans.
• Work at height should only be performed when the weather conditions make it safe to do so. Rain, mud, or high winds are grounds for postponing work at height.
• Workers should be properly trained before being allowed to work at height independently. If undergoing a training session, the training needs to be delivered by someone competent to do so.
• Equipment to prevent injuries during falls should be used. Such equipment includes toe boards, harnesses, lanyards, guardrails, and stabilisers to name just a few necessary items.
• The platform surface must be free of gaps in which a worker can fall. There are can be no gaps through which equipment can fall and injure workers below the scaffold tower. The platform must be large enough to safely hold workers and their equipment.
• Inspection reports are to be kept on the work site for the duration of the task. Afterwards, those reports are to be kept in the company office.
• Modifications or alterations making the scaffold tower unstable are forbidden.
• Dangerous areas such as those in which falling objects are likely or in which falls from height can result in serious injury or death must be properly labelled and marked as such.
• The platform must be strong enough to hold the necessary workers and equipment. The weight limit of the platform must not be exceeded. The platform surface must be stable, and not shift or otherwise move, and place people in danger.
• The instruction manual that details safety concerns, the proper way to assemble and dissemble the scaffold tower, and any other important information should be available to anyone using the equipment.
In addition, the workers are also responsible for being aware of the work at height regulations. If any part of the regulations are missing, it is the worker's responsibility to refuse to work on the task until the infraction is repaired. This will ensure the safety of the worker, and other workers in the vicinity.
The worker must perform their own inspections prior to beginning work on a daily basis. Alerting a competent supervisor to any problems prior to beginning work is imperative in ensuring the safety of all involved.
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