Covering basic knowledge required by any worker: Education Work at Height Awareness Syllabus

(Prepared by the Advisory Committee on Work at Height Training (ACWAHT)) April 2006

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PREAMBLE

In 2004/05, 53 people died and nearly 3800 suffered a serious injury as a result of a fall from height. All industry sectors are exposed to the risks presented by this hazard although the level of incidence varies considerably.

As part of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (that came into effect on 6 April 2005), those involved in work at height must be competent (or, if being trained, supervised by a competent person). In addition, every person shall report any activity or defect relating to work at height that he knows is likely to endanger the safety of himself or another person.

The concept for this syllabus was borne initially out the desire to establish what every worker should know about work at height activity to keep them safe, until they have been fully trained in any particular aspect. It is not a substitute for detailed training to undertake a task, but provides basic information on safe working practice for work at height. It is recommended that these be covered in training courses.

Height safety training, in common with all other training, is dependent upon the quality of the training provider, the syllabus to be delivered and the way in which it is delivered. It is recommended, therefore, that delivery of this syllabus be carried out in accordance with a recognised standard such as BS 8454, Delivery of training for work at a height. The use of the syllabus on its own will not necessarily guarantee the quality of the training that a trainee receives.

It is envisaged currently that the delivery of the syllabus be undertaken in one of a number of ways:

(a) As a ‘Foundation Course’ (and a pre-requirement of existing specialised courses).
(b) In full, within existing specialised courses.
(c) In part, within existing specialised courses (using the generic information relevant to all industries together with the industry-specific information relevant to the industry delivering the course).
The syllabus does not have third-party accreditation (for example), so course providers will need to be very clear in any course literature, or claims, about the parts of the syllabus being delivered.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) welcomes this syllabus and considers it an important document in supporting the effective management of work at height. It is an example of partnership working between HSE and Industry. I would like to thank those involved for their valued input and the often lively and wide-ranging debate.

David Thomas

HM Principal Specialist Inspector of Health and Safety Health and Safety Executive Construction Division Technology Unit (a Corporate Topic Group)

Technical Adviser to HSE’s Falls Programme

The Advisory Committee on Work at Height Training (ACWAHT) was established in 2003 by HSE’s Construction Corporate Topic Group (the Construction Division Technology Unit, CDTU), as a project under HSE’s Falls from Height Priority Programme. It acts as an umbrella organization to agree common work at height training needs anticipated to meet the new Work at Height Regulations 2005.

ACWAHT’s Aims and Key Objectives are listed in Annex 1.

LIST OF MEMBERS

Organisers/Secretariat

HSE
Health and Safety Executive (Construction Corporate Topic Group, Construction Division Technology Unit)

Members

AALA Adventure Activities Licensing Authority [Joined April 2004]
ABTT Association of British Theatre Technicians [Joined April 2005]
ATLAS Association of Technical, Lightening Access Specialists (formerly the National


Federation of Steeplejacks and Lightning Conductor Engineers)
CAI Confederation of Aerial Industries
CITB Construction Industry Training Board
FASET Fall Arrest Safety Equipment Training
FCA / AA Forestry Contracting Association/Arboricultural Association
HASG Height Access Safety Group
HM FIRE SERVICE INSPECTORATE [Joined September 2003]
HM POLICE SERVICE [Joined September 2003]
HM PRISON SERVICE [Joined September 2003
IPAF International Powered Access Federation (Joined September 2003)
IRATA Industrial Rope Access Trade Association
MOD Ministry of Defence (Estates) [Joined September 2003]
NASC National Access & Scaffolding Confederation
PASMA Prefabricated Access Suppliers and Manufacturers Association
PLASA Professional Lighting and Sound Association [Joined April 2005]
PSA Production Services Association [Joined April 2005]
SAEMA Specialist Access Engineering and Maintenance Association
SEMA Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association
WAHSA Work at Height Safety Association [Joined January 2006]

INDEX

Item Page

Cover Page 1
Preamble 2
ACWAHT 3

• List of Members 3
Index 4

General

Aim 6
Objective 6
Reason 6
Definition – Competent Person 6

Basic

Basic required knowledge for all who work at height 7
Key messages 11
Generic issues 11

Specific

Places of work 13
Fragile surfaces 15
Collective prevention 16
Collective protection 17
Personal protection 18
No protection 21

Annexes

Annex 1 -ACWAHT Aims and Key Objectives 24
Annex 2 -Definitions 25
Annex 3 - Extracts for the Work at Height Regulations 2005 33

GENERAL
AIM

This syllabus is intended to provide basic information for anyone involved in or affected by work at height. It does not cover the specialised skills required to carry out specific tasks, these must be dealt with by other training.

OBJECTIVE

This knowledge is required to enable an individual to effectively comply with his duties under the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (which includes the identification and reporting of unsafe activities).

REASON

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 require anyone who works at height to be competent (Reg. 5).

DEFINITION

A competent person is a person who can demonstrate that they have sufficient professional or technical training, knowledge, actual experience, and authority1 to enable them to:

• Carry out their assigned duties at the level of responsibility allocated to them;
• Understand any potential hazards related to the work (or equipment) under consideration;
• Detect any technical defects or omissions in that work (or equipment), recognise any implications for health and safety caused by those defects or omissions, and be able to specify a remedial action to mitigate those implications.
For anyone to work at height, this definition implies the following:

1. To know and understand the specific legal duties under the work at height regulations which apply to them as an individual.
2. To understand who controls their activity and the lines of communication to use.
3. To understand the principles of fall protection that the work at height regulations requires to be used.
4. To be able to recognise safe and unsafe situations/activities.
5. To understand how to deal with the hazards associated with the task allocated to them.
6. To have adequate training in the correct use and limitations of any work equipment allocated to them for the task.
7. To understand the need for and the ability to check the adequacy of the safety equipment allocated to them.
8. If that equipment has been issued to them on a personal basis an understanding of the correct procedure for storage and maintenance and inspection.
9. To understand safe procedures of work and state the correct procedure for the task, the emergency (including rescue) procedures in place for the work and their role in it.
10. To know the procedure for reporting any defects, hazards or unsafe procedures they detect. “authority” here means delegated authority to the individual by his employer to carry out a certain function or duty.

BASIC REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE FOR ALL WHO WORK AT HEIGHT

A. Definitions2 and the following requirements within the Work at Height Regulations 20053
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 require, as a minimum, individuals to know:

Reg. 6 (Avoidance of risks from work at height – ‘the hierarchy’)

Reason4: (2), (3), (9) -See Para. G.

Reg. 9 (Fragile surfaces)

Reason: (4), (5), (9), (10) -See Para. F.

Reg. 10 (Falling objects)

Reason: (4), (5), (9), (10) -See Para. F.

Reg. 11 (Danger areas)

Reason: (4) (5) (9) -See Para. F.

Reg. 12 (Inspection of work equipment)

Reason: (6), (7), (8), (10) -See Para. E.

Reg. 13 (Inspections of places of work at height)

Reason: (4), (5), (6) -See Para. E.

Reg. 14 (Personal duties)

Reason: (1), (7), (8), (9), (10) -See Para. C.

B. Definition of what “work at height” is.
“work at height” means –

(a) work in any place, including a place at or below ground level;
(b) obtaining access to or egress from such place while at work, except by a staircase in a permanent workplace, where, if measures required by these Regulations were not taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury.
2 See Annex 2.
3 The extracts from the Work at Height Regulations 2005 are partial only. For a full text refer to Annex 3.
4 ‘Reason’ refers to the numbered list on Page 6, ‘Definition’.

C. Know the personal duties to report unsafe systems and activities and do not to circumvent or fail to use safety systems provided.
Regulation 14

14.
-(1) Every person shall, where working under the control of another person, report to that person any activity or defect relating to work at height which he knows is likely to endanger the safety of himself or another person.
(2) Every person shall use any work equipment or safety device provided to him for work at height by his employer, or by a person under whose control he works, in accordance with
(a) any training in the use of the work equipment or device concerned which have been received by him; and
(b) the instructions respecting that use which have been provided to him by that employer or person in compliance with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon that employer or person by or under the relevant statutory provisions.
HSWA Sections 7 and 8

General duties of employees at work:

7. It shall be the duty of every employee while at work:
(a) to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work; and
(b) as regards any duty or requirement imposed on his employer or any other person by or under any of the relevant statutory provisions, to co-operate with him so far as is necessary to enable that duty or requirement to be performed or complied with.
Duty not to interfere with or misuse things provided pursuant to certain provisions:

8. No person shall intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health, safety or welfare in pursuance of any of the relevant statutory provisions.
D. Should know collective protective measures always takes preference over personal protective measures (Regulation 7(1)).
7. -(1) Every employer, in selecting work equipment for use in work at height, shall(a) give collective protection measures priority over personal protection measures; and …
The regulations require you to give “collective protection measures” priority over “personal protection measures” (see D., above), i.e. equipment that protects people generally (such as guardrails and toe boards) rather than equipment that protects only an individual (such as a full body harness).

The schedules to the regulations include detailed requirements about particular types of work equipment, e.g. Schedule 2 (guardrails, toe boards, barriers and similar collective means of protection).

E. Legal requirements for pre-use and post-use checks of ‘work equipment’ and ‘places of work’ (Regulations 12 and 13).
12. -(3) Every employer shall ensure that work equipment exposed to conditions causing deterioration which is liable to result in dangerous situations is inspected
(a) at suitable intervals; and
(b) each time that exceptional circumstances which are liable to jeopardise the safety of the work equipment have occurred,
13. Every employer shall so far as is reasonably practicable ensure that the surface and every parapet, permanent rail or other such fall protection measure of every place of work at height are checked on each occasion before the place is used.
F. Should be able to recognise dangerous situations.
Fragile surface

9.
(1) Every employer shall ensure that no person at work passes across or near, or works on, from or near, a fragile surface where it is reasonably practicable to carry out work safely and under appropriate ergonomic conditions without his doing so.
Falling objects

10.
-(1) Every employer shall, where necessary to prevent injury to any person, take suitable and sufficient steps to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, the fall of any material or object.
Danger areas

11. Without prejudice to the preceding requirements of these Regulations, every employer shall ensure that –
(a) where a workplace contains an area in which, owing to the nature of the work, there is a risk of any person at work (
i) falling a distance; or
(ii) being struck by a falling object, which is liable to cause personal injury, the workplace is so far as is reasonably practicable equipped with devices preventing unauthorised persons from entering such area; and
(b) such area is clearly indicated.
G. Understand the ‘fall protection hierarchy’ (Reg. 6).
6. -(2) Every employer shall ensure that work is not carried out at height where it is reasonably practicable to carry out the work safely otherwise than at height.
(3) Where work is carried out at height, every employer shall take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.
Don’t work at height if you can do it any other way.

If you have to work at height:

• Work from an ‘existing (safe) place of work’.
If you can’t work from an existing place of work:

• Use work equipment to prevent the fall.
If you can’t prevent the fall:

• Minimise height and consequences.
If you can’t minimise both the height and consequences

• Minimise the consequences.
If you can’t minimise the consequences:

• Minimise the risk of fall occurring through instruction, training and supervision.
H. Understand differences between types of work at height techniques.
See Annex 1, Definitions:

• Work restraint
• Work positioning
• Fall arrest
• Rope access and positioning.
I. Be able to identify a ‘safe place of work’.
Refer to ‘Place of Work’, etc., following (pp 12 to 21, within this document).

KEY MESSAGES

• The Regulations are there to protect you!
• It is illegal to work at height unless you are protected from the consequences of a fall (unless there is not reasonably practicable way to do it any other way).
• You have a personal legal duty5 to report dangerous situations and unsafe activities.
• You have a personal legal duty6 to use safety equipment provided for your use and not put yourself or others at risk.
Respect the height – over-confidence can kill:

• You are not paid enough to risk your life, so don’t.
• Safety CANNOT be compromised by the need “for the show to go on”.
• Never be afraid to stop working until the area beneath you is clear or safe enough to continue the task.
• Never allow yourself to get rushed; nothing is important enough to make you put your life or other at risk.
• A good working at height operative works calmly, unhurriedly and in a controlled manner.
GENERIC ISSUES

ALWAYS read, and make sure that you understand and follow the work method statements and/or ‘permit-to-work’ (if applicable).
USE only equipment for which you been trained. NEVER attempt unsafe activities because you have witnessed others doing it -stick to what you have been trained in. UNDERSTAND the ‘rescue plan’ in the event of a fall, YOUR part in it and ENSURE that any equipment in this plan is available.

PPE
ONLY use if you have been trained in its use, and pre-use checks, and:

• KNOW and recognize the difference between work restraint, work positioning, rope access
and fall arrest.
• UNDERSTAND the factors affecting the use of lanyards, e.g. damage and where to anchor.
• UNDERSTAND the factors affecting lanyard damage.
• UNDERSTAND what constitutes unacceptable damage, equipment and use.
Platforms/equipment
ONLY use if you know that it has been inspected.
CHECK that all labelling, tags, etc. are in place.


Remember:

It’s not just you at risk – if you work dangerously, you put others at risk (and they may be the person who, sooner or later, has to rescue you!)
NEVER:


• go beyond what you feel uncomfortable with.
• undertake a task you are not confident that you can complete safely.
• compromise safety so that “the show can go on”.
5 Work at Height Regulations 2005
6 Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974

SPECIFIC PLACES OF WORK

Introduction

Applies to any elevated surface from where work is carried out. Specifically included are: scaffolds, roofs, MEWPs, mobile access towers and suspended cradles.
Industry sectors covered: All.

Key messages(s)

• To be an “existing place of work” there MUST be NO RISK OF A FALL occurring at any time whilst you are working there (Schedule 1).
• If additional temporary work equipment (e.g. guardrails, scaffolds, safety nets, personal protective equipment (PPE), ropes, etc.) has been used -or must be added -to deal with the risk of the fall it is not an existing place of work but a working platform (Schedule 3). Safe practices that you should follow to be competent (Reg. 5)

1. ONLY use surfaces/platforms which have been inspected by a competent person and which are IDENTIFIED as safe to use.
2. ONLY use the surface/platform as instructed to do and ONLY go onto any surface when you have been briefed on safety for that particular surface.
3. NEVER overload the surface/platform7 .
4. BE AWARE of effects of and any limitations imposed by weather conditions on the surface being used.
5. ALWAYS read and make sure you understand the work method statements.
6. ONLY use a safe means of access and always follow designated access routes.
7. ALWAYS use the safety equipment provided/required.
8. ALWAYS use the lift/hoisting aid provided to raise and lower materials.
9. MAKE SURE all edges have protection, including any leading edge, if under construction (e.g. safety nets).
10. ALWAYS follow safe practice when using ladders8 and safety nets.
11. ALWAYS wear the correct footwear/PPE.
Additionally, for specific work equipment:

Scaffolds and towers:

1. ONLY stack materials on the working platforms as instructed and as close to the standards as possible.
2. ALWAYS report any defect or hazard you see.
3. ALWAYS request the scaffold to be re-inspected following bad weather or any incident that might have affected it.
4. ONLY MOVE or USE towers if you have received the relevant training or are being supervised by a competent person.
5. A tower should ONLY be moved by applying effort as near the base as possible.
6. CHECK that all wheels are locked and that the tower is the correct height to allow access to the work.
7 Note: You should KNOW its safe working load (SWL), working load limit (WLL), rated load (RL) or duty rating and UNDERSTAND what this means in practice.

8 See HSE Operational Circular 200/30.

CHECK and ensure outriggers/stabilisers or ties are in place in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
Mobile access equipment:

1. BE AWARE of, and always FOLLOW, any manufacturer’s instructions for the equipment being used.
2. You MUST understand the access and egress requirements for the equipment.
3. You MUST understand the method of communication being used, e.g. voice, intercom, radio, hand signals or mobile phone.
MEWPs/Suspended platforms:

• A plate fixed to the platform WILL give the safe load or the maximum number of users.
• The operator (driver) MUST be trained and you must ALWAYS follow the operator’s instructions.
• YOU might need training in the use of PPE (e.g. safety harness/lanyard).
• A suspended platform SHOULD remain on a safe surface until movement is required9 .
Unsafe practices that you need to be able to recognise (Reg. 14)

1. USING an unauthorised method of access.
2. GOING onto a sloping surface if it is wet, icy or slippery for any other reason, or if windy.
3. GOING on any surface if the surface is not visible (e.g. snow or very dirty).
4. RUNNING ON OR JUMPING onto any surfaces.
Roofs (refer also to ‘Fragile Surfaces’, following):

• GOING onto a roof when it is avoidable10 .
• STANDING, WALKING ON or CROSSING rooflights.
• DROPPING materials or equipment onto a roof surface.
Mobile access equipment:

• MEWPs/Suspended platforms
1. ATTEMPTING to operate controls when not trained.
2. ONE MAN OPERATION11 .
3. LEAVING a suspended platform or MEWP unattended where it could be misused or cause damage12 .
4. OPERATING where adequate ventilation is not available to minimise the inhalation of carbon monoxide and other noxious gases (e.g. from vehicle exhausts).
5. WORKING below ground level where adequate ventilation is not available.
6. OPERATING in close proximity and passing ‘live’ cables/RF hazards.
7. USING lifting apparatus from any part of the Equipment when this is not specifically permitted by the operators’ manual.
9 Be aware that additional personnel may be needed to guide the platform’s initial movements).

10 As far as possible, ALWAYS avoid walking on roofs.

11 Although one person can operate some types of suspended access equipment teams should normally, for safety reasons, be least two people.

12 The power supply should always have been isolated, by removing any keys, and the equipment secured to prevent unauthorized use or movement by wind or weather conditions.

• Towers:
1. MOVING with persons or materials on the platform.
2. USING in adverse/windy conditions.
3. USING on soft ground.
4. USING without stabilisers or with the wheels unlocked.
FRAGILE SURFACES

Introduction

Applies to any activity where the surface is fragile.
Specifically included are: roofs, materials bridged in silos, sludge lagoons, any coverings with voids below.
Industry sectors covered: All.


Key message(s)

• ALWAYS regard a roof as fragile (many look firm, but are not, and this leads to a false sense
of security).
• Fragile surfaces will FAIL when a reasonably foreseeable load is applied to it, resulting in a fall to a lower level.
• Fragile surfaces kill about 10 people per year!
• NEVER go on a fragile surface unless you have been trained.
Safe practices that you should follow to be competent (Reg. 5)

Roofs

1. ALWAYS assume a roof, suspended ceiling, covered opening, etc. is fragile unless told otherwise by a person in authority.
2. ALWAYS use the safety equipment provided/required.
3. ALWAYS treat an asbestos-cement roof, or roofs treated with bitumen or any other paint, as fragile.
4. AVOID walking on roofs, suspended ceilings and covered openings, etc., as far as possible, and always follow designated access routes.
5. ALWAYS read and make sure you understand the work method statements.
Other surfaces

• Beware of other surfaces.
Unsafe practices that you need to be able to recognise (Reg. 14)

Roofs

1. WALKING purlin bolt lines.
2. WALKING on, or across, any rooflights.
3. RUNING ON, or JUMPING ONTO, roof surfaces and ceiling voids.
Other surfaces

• Be aware of other surfaces.

COLLECTIVE PREVENTION

Introduction

Applies to the guarding of any elevated surface from where work is carried out and where work equipment is provided to prevent or minimize the consequences of a fall Specifically included is: roofs, scaffolds, MEWPs, mobile access towers, suspended cradles
Industry sectors covered: All.

Key message(s)

This covers both static and mobile equipment.

Safe practices that you should follow to be competent (Reg. 5)

1. If the surface is NOT fully-guarded then fall PROTECTION equipment (collective or
personal) MUST be used
2. BE AWARE of any limitations imposed by weather conditions on the guarding equipment being used (e.g. safety nets, sheeted or clad scaffolds, etc.).
3. Scaffolds and towers:
• ONLY work from fully guarded platform (double guardrail and toe-boards on every side from where you could fall).
Mobile access equipment:

• MEWPs/Suspended platforms:
1. The Operator (driver) MUST be trained.
2. YOU MUST always follow the operator’s instructions.
3. YOU might need training in PPE and MUST know the difference between ‘work restraint’ and ‘fall arrest’ (and how to achieve it). 4. When maneuvering, be CONSTANTLY AWARE of possible adjacent hazards, obstructions and projections, e.g. flag poles, CCTV cameras, soil pipes, external staircases, overhead lines, microwave aerials, etc.
Unsafe practices that you need to be able to recognise (Reg. 14)

1. REMOVING components (e.g. guardrails, toe boards, boards, brick guard or ties) to enable you to carry out your work.
2. CLIMBING ON, or GOING OUTSIDE, any guardrails, safety barriers or edge protection
3. USING equipment if any constituent components are damaged.
4. PUTTING anything else (e.g. ladders, step ladders, boxes, etc.) on a working platform (particularly mobile access equipment) to gain additional height above the guarding.
Mobile access equipment:

• GETTING out of a MEWP or CRADLE whilst elevated (unless instructed in a safe method of work).
• USING ‘fall arrest’ instead of ‘work restraint’.
Towers:

• CLIMBING up the outside.
• EXTENDIING adjustable legs to gain height.
• USING ‘fall arrest’ equipment on towers (unless specifically approved by the manufacturer).

COLLECTIVE PROTECTION

Introduction

Applies to any ‘passive’ measure that protects against the consequences of a fall from where work is being carried out. Equipment specifically included: safety nets, airbags, bean bags.
Industry sectors covered: All.


Key message(s)

• This equipment ALLOWS a fall to take place, mitigating the consequences.
• The equipment REQUIRES space to deflect/deform to work properly.
• To MINIMIZE the fall height it SHOULD be installed as close under the working surface as is REASONABLY PRACTICABLE.
Safe practices that you should follow to be competent (Reg. 5)

1. ALWAYS carry out a visual inspection before commencing work above the equipment.
2. CHECK that there is no evidence of tampering or loading of the equipment..
3. REPORT any damage prior to working above the equipment and identify any repairs that you think haven’t been done properly.
4. REPORT any falls into or loading of the equipment.
5. REPORT any damage that is caused to the equipment during the course of your work.
Safety Nets:

• CHECK that the net is attached to structure at no more than 2.5 metre centres.
• CHECK there are no gaps anywhere greater than 100 mm and any overlaps are lapped by more than 2m.
• CHECK they have been tested in the last 12 months through marking and/or certification.
• CHECK that there is at least 3 metres clearance below the net (including plant, masonry walls, scaffold etc).
Unsafe practices that you need to be able to recognise (Reg. 14)

1. WALKING on, JUMPING onto, or TAMPERING with the equipment or any of its
attachment elements.
2. USING the equipment to store materials on.
3. CARRYING OUT any hot works above or adjacent to the equipment.
Safety Nets:

When WORKING over a safety net:

• for which a handover certificate has NOT been issued.
• where the fall height is MORE than 2m.

PERSONAL PROTECTION

Introduction

Applies to any ‘active’ measure used by an individual worker that prevents a fall or protects against the consequences of a fall from where work is carried out. Equipment specifically included: all harnesses and lanyards, inertia reels, ropes, personal work restraint system, personal work positioning system, rope access and positioning techniques. Industry sectors covered: arboriculture, industrial rope access, entertainments, steeplejacks, adventure activities covered by WAHR, any sectors using PPE (including MEWPs and suspended access).


Key message(s)

• This equipment may ALLOW a fall to take place, mitigating the consequences.
• In a fall, equipment REQUIRES space to deflect/deform to work properly.
• To minimise the risk, equipment should be used in WORK RESTRAINT where possible, therefore preventing any fall.
• If a fall can occur, the attachment should be as HIGH above the user’s waist as possible.
• WORK USING ROPES (e.g. work involving arboricultural, industrial rope access and steeplejack techniques) is a specialist activity and MUST not be attempted unless correctly trained.
Safe practices that you should to follow to be competent (Reg. 5)

WHEN YOU USE PPE:

1. ALWAYS carry out a visual inspection13 of the equipment before commencing work.
2. REPORT any damage found prior to working with the equipment.
3. ALWAYS adjust harnesses to fit body.
4. ENSURE you know where and what to connect your means of attachment to.
5. ENSURE that your means of attachment will not interfere with the work you are doing.
6. ENSURE you are attached at all times and ALWAYS anchor as high as possible.
7. CONSTANTLY CHECK available fall clearance is adequate for any deployment.
8. REPORT any falls or loading of the equipment.
9. REPORT any damage that is causes to the equipment during the course of your work.
10. KNOW how to and always store the equipment correctly after use.
11. NEVER be afraid to stop working until the area beneath you is clear or safe enough to continue the task.
12. When using aluminium trusses/structures, MEWPs, etc. for attachment this should be subject to manufacturer’s instructions/recommendations.
WHEN YOUR WORK IS ADJACENT TO OTHERS USING PPE:

1. All work should be carried out under appropriate supervision
• For industrial rope access by an IRATA Company, this means a Level 3 Supervisor.
• For the entertainments industry this means the rigging/flys/stage supervisor.
• Elsewhere, this means the Supervisor.
2. ASK your supervisor who is controlling the adjacent activity.
See HSE Operational Circular 282/30


3. Always INFORM your supervisor if your activity is affecting someone’s work, or if your operations are being affected by the work of others.
• DO NOT undertake an activity that affects the safety of workers suspended on ropes or working within structures.
• NEVER enter the exclusion zone above/beneath people working on ropes or around trees/structures where arborists or steeplejacks are working.
• NEVER enter the zone where the ropes are anchored.
• DO NOT move or modify the equipment or affect their operation.
4. ALWAYS follow the instructions of the sentry or supervisor regarding any exclusion zones/danger areas.
Unsafe practices that you need to be able to recognise (Reg. 14)

1. USING damaged or borrowed equipment.
2. USING unsuitable anchor points.
3. USING unprotected means of attachment over sharp or abrasive edges.
4. ADJUSTING the length of work restraint systems so that it becomes a fall arrest situation.
5. WORKING at height in poorly lit and/or noisy conditions.
Work activities

Additionally, for specific work sectors, you should be able to recognise that unsafe practices are being undertaken, as follows:

1. Arboriculture
• WORKING ABOVE (>250mm) anchor points.
• CHAIN LINKING karabiners together.
• WORKING WITHOUT exclusion zone present, including signage.
• ALLOWING Slack (>500mm) to develop, e.g. in ropes.
• RAPID/UNCONTROLLED descent, as friction damages ropes.
• WRAPPING ropes around body to get extra grip/purchase.
2. Industrial rope access workers
• WORKING without a back-up line (i.e. on single ropes).
• WORKING with unsecured tools14 .
• WORKING without an exclusion zone.
• RAPID/UNCONTROLLED descent.
3. Entertainments industry
• MOVING occupied access equipment without an appropriate safe system of work.
• ALLOWING rubbish, lunch, cans of drink, etc. aloft.
• Using UNSECURED items (tools, etc. should be captive on a lanyard).
• FREE CLIMBING.
4. Steeplejacks
• To follow.
Note: All tools and equipment must be attached to a rope access technician, or be independently anchored.

5. MEWPs15
• Excessive LEANING OUT of the basket.
• Not being ATTACHED with a restraint or fall-arrest lanyard when working in the basket of a boom-type MEWP.
See HSE Operational Circular 314/20

NO PROTECTION

Introduction

Applies to any activity where an individual worker has no protection against the consequences of a fall from where work is carried out. Equipment specifically included: ladders, stepladders
Industry sectors covered: All.
Does not cover working from vehicles, e.g. lorries.


Key message(s)

• The equipment/working position ALLOWS a fall to take place and DOES NOT mitigate the consequences.
Safe practices that you should follow to be competent (Reg. 5)

Ladders

1. ONLY use for ‘short duration’ work (maximum 30 minutes)16 .
2. ONLY use for light work (up to 10 kg).
3. ALWAYS use a secured ladder.
4. Have a STRONG upper resting point (not plastic guttering).
5. ONLY use on ground or ground which is:
• Firm and level.
• Maximum safe side-slope of ground, 16o (level the rungs with a ladder wedge).
• Maximum safe back-slope of ground, 6o.
• Clean, not slippery.
6. Ladder angle, 75o – ‘1 in 4’ rule (1 unit out for every 4 units up).
7. ALWAYS grip the ladder when climbing.
Stepladders

1. SELECT safer types, e.g. ‘pulpit’ or ‘podium’ steps17 .
2. ENSURE there is space to fully open.
3. ALWAYS use any locking devices.
4. ONLY use on a surface that is firm and level18 .
5. ONLY use for ‘short duration’ work (maximum 30 minutes).
6. ONLY use for light work (up to 10 kg).
Unsafe practices that you need to be able to recognise (Reg. 14)

Ladders

1. OVERREACHING (Make sure your belt buckle -navel -stays within the stiles and keep both feet on the same rung or step throughout the task).
2. WORKING off the top three rungs (This doesn’t provide a handhold).
3. Working ABOVE 9m.
16 For aerial installers, refer to CAI, Guidelines on Safe Operating Procedures
17 These take precedence, under the Regulations 6 ‘hierarchy’.
18 Floors should be clean, not slippery.


Stepladders

1. AVOID side-on working/loading.
2. DO NOT:
• use as a ladder.
• use for strenuous work.
• work on the top platform.
• work off the top two steps (top three steps for swing-back/double-sided stepladders) unless you have a safe handhold on the steps. • overreach (make sure your belt buckle – navel -stays within the stiles and keep both feet on the same rung or step throughout the task).

ANNEXES

ANNEX 1 – ACWAHT AIMS AND KEY OBJECTIVES (informative)

The Advisory Committee on Work at Height Training (ACWAHT) has the following Aims and Key Objectives (2005):

Aims:

• To involve the main trade associations and organisations involved in work at height training in the advisory committee.
• To discuss and agree a remit acceptable to those trade associations.
• To discuss and formulate a common standard for delivery of work at height training.
• To discuss and agree the core technical knowledge and competence to meet the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
• To deliver and publicize the training requirements throughout the training associations/organisations. Key Objectives:

• The successful formation of the committee.
• The publication of a training standard agreed and acceptable for use by all training associations providing training for work at height.
• To have any publications accepted as industry standards (a way of doing this is for the agreed Standard to be accepted as a British Standard).
• To develop and publish a core syllabus which is recognised by HSE as meeting the basic competence requirement of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.
• To get full adoption of ACWAHT recommendations for this syllabus into the constituent member association’s own training programmes and by other training providers.

ANNEX 2 – DEFINITIONS (informative)

These technical definitions, terms, meanings and concepts were developed and prepared by HSE’s Construction Division Technology Unit (CDTU) during the drafting of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and these are what are being applied by HSE (see Operational Circular 200/31). They are provided for information only and, as such, are not part of the Awareness Syllabus.

REGULATION 2 -INTERPRETATION

“Fall protection”

Strictly, the term fall protection is not actually used or defined in the regulations other than in relation to personal systems but it is embodied and central to the hierarchy:

Technical definition

A work equipment system or an existing feature which provides either fall prevention or fall arrest functionality

Note: ‘Fall protection’ includes both collective and personal measures.

“Collective protection measure”

Technical definition:

An assembly of components or equipment which provides fall protection, for all persons working at a position, without requiring any action on their part to be effective, i.e. the fundamental principle is that it is passive fall protection which does not require any adjustment, alteration or operation after installation, by any user to work properly (examples would be guardrails or safety nets).

“Personal protection measure”

Technical definition:

An assembly of components or equipment which provides fall protection for an individual (or collection of individuals) which requires some action on their part to be effective (The fundamental principle is that it require active intervention on the part of the user to work properly – Examples would be a lanyard and harness (requires clipping on, adjusting the harness, etc.)).

Note: A multi-user standing line system (work restraint, work positioning or fall arrest) will always be a personal measure because each individual has to clip onto it for the system to be effective.

“Personal fall protection system” [PFPS]19 is included in the regulations but only really contains a list of terms which are included not its meaning. The definition given however effectively encompasses anything that is non collective by its nature.

Technical definition:

Assembly of components or equipment to protect the individual whilst working at height (including gaining access/egress from the working position)

Note: The above wording can be substituted into the any of the following definitions (i.e. by replacing the abbreviation: “PFPS”) to provide the full definitive technical definition for each term.

See, also, comments under Schedule 5.

“Personal fall prevention system”

Technical definition:

A PFPS not using a body holding device connected to an anchor, by which a person is prevented from reaching zones where the risk of a fall exists

“Work restraint system”

Technical definition:

A PFPS which uses a body holding device connected to a reliable anchor to prevent a person from reaching zones where the risk of a fall exists

“Work positioning system”

Technical definition:

A PFPS which normally includes a body holding device connected to a reliable anchor to supports the user in tension or suspension in such a way that a fall is prevented or restricted

“Rope access system” (explicitly, “Rope access and positioning techniques”)

Technical definition:

A PFPS, using two lines (or ropes), each positionally static and separately secured to reliable anchors , one equipped with a body holding device acting as the primary means of support and the other equipped to act as a safety back up to arrest and restrict the fall in the event the primary support fails.

“Fall arrest system”

Technical definition:

A PFPS which uses a body holding device connected to a reliable anchor to arrest and restrict a fall so as to prevent the collision of the user with the ground or structure whilst limiting the forces on the body.

“Rescue system”

Technical definition:

A PFPS by which a person can carry out a rescue, rescue himself/herself or be rescued from a height or a depth by pulling, lifting, lowering or self ascent/descent

“Advance guardrail system”

Technical definition

An assembly of components or equipment designed to provide collective fall prevention measures which does not expose any person to the risk of a fall during its installation

Note: A system of work which use a number of standard individual components in a specific erection sequence to achieve advance protection does not constitute an advance guardrail system if any failure by the individual to follow the precise erection sequence would result in that individual being exposed to the risk of a fall

“Fragile surface”

Fragile surface is defined in the regulations and means any surface liable to fail if any reasonably foreseeable loading were applied to it (In this context “fail” should be taken to mean that the person would pass through it, i.e. ductile failure where the material merely bends but would continue to hold the individual would not constitute failure).

Note: The classification may change with circumstances – if someone fall on the surface, is injured and the surface is damaged but does not fail -it might fail when the rescuer goes to get him – this is a reasonably foreseeable loading which would apply to the assessment of the circumstances.

REGULATION 3 -APPLICATION

“Person under his control to the extent of his control”

Technical definition:

worker in his charge within the limit of his delegated authority

REGULATION 4 ORGANISATION AND PLANNING

“Jeopardise” (in relation to weather)

Technical definition:

detrimentally affect

REGULATION 5 -COMPETENT

“Competent” is not defined in the regulations.

REGULATION 6 – THE HIERARCHY

“Existing place of work”

Technical definition:

Any existing permanent place of work inc access route or any temporary place of work inc access route or working position (excluding any actually provided by temporary work equipment) which does not require the use or addition of any temporary work equipment to prevent a fall from height occurring, i.e. it is a position from which there is no risk of falling and is therefore ‘safe’

“Appropriate ergonomic conditions”

Technical definition:

suitable arrangements of the workplace which allow the person to adopt the correct working position or posture for the work in hand

“Distance and consequences”

Technical definition:

The height of the fall and the effects of the fall on the human body

Note: In personal fall protection systems involving the use of a body holding device connected to a reliable anchor minimising the height and consequences can usually be best achieved by minimising the fall factor. The regulations applied correctly therefore drive personal protective equipment to be used in its best possible way.


“Fall factor”

Fall factor is a term that does not appear in the regulations but as indicated above is important in achieving correct mitigation required by Regulation 6

Technical definition:

height of the fall divided by the length of the connection between the body holding device and the reliable anchor.

Note: Normally this will be the ‘height of the fall’ divided by ‘length of the lanyard’.

REGULATION 7 – SELECTING WORK EQUIPMENT

Work equipment must have “dimensions” which are appropriate for the job and “allow passage without risk”
Technical definition:


Space in conformity with accepted anthropomorphic data which allows persons to adopt the correct working position for the job and to pass through or along the work equipment whilst being protected against falls and falling objects

REGULATION 11 -DANGER AREAS
“Devices preventing unauthorised persons from entering”


Technical definition:

physical barriers or means which prevent a person going beyond them

“Clearly indicated”

Technical definition:

unambiguous marking or instruction which conveys it is dangerous to enter

REGULATION 12 -INSPECTION OF WORK EQUIPMENT

Many of the terms are already defined and used in PUWER and can be directly transposed here.

“Installed”

Technical definition:

put into position

“Assembled”

Technical definition:

put together

Note: In 12(2): “installed, or assembled” and “installation and assembly” – Does not mean every time you move a MEWP on a site or click a lanyard into place that you have to carry out an inspection of the work equipment.

“Physical evidence”

Technical definition:

documented proof

REGULATION 13
“Checked”

Technical definition:

visually inspected, not necessarily carried out at close quarters

“On each occasion before the place is used”

Technical definition:

pre-use check

Note: For places like mezzanine floors which might be used say several times in a single day it is not intended that they be checked on each and every time someone goes onto it.

SCHEDULE 1 -EXISTING PLACE OF WORK
“Suitable and sufficient means for preventing a fall”

Technical definition:

enough of it and fit for purpose; feature, components or set of components which prevent a person from falling to a lower level, & do so without injuring the person, provided at all edges from which a person could fall

Note: “means for preventing a fall” can also include being “safe by position”, e.g. being in the middle of a large roof at a sufficient distance from an unguarded edge so that no risk of a fall exists.

SCHEDULE 2 – GUARDRAILS, ETC
“Of sufficient dimensions”

Technical definition:

sizes which ensure that a person cannot fall through or over it

SCHEDULE 3 -WORKING PLATFORMS
“Appropriate devices”

Technical definition:

Component or set of components which generate sufficient resistance to prevent the wheels turning

“Effective anti slip device”

Technical definition –in the context of working platforms as opposed to ladders:

Component or set of components which is designed to hold the load bearing component, it is associated with, in position either by friction or other means


SCHEDULE 3, PART 2 -SCAFFOLDING
“Scaffolding”

Not a definition, but more an agreement of what is in and what is out:

A temporary construction which is required to provide a safe place of work, or access or on or from which persons work or which is used to support materials plant or equipment

“Strength and stability calculations”

Technical definition:

Detailed documented process which demonstrates that a scaffold has sufficient load bearing capacity and positional fixity

“A note of the calculations”

Technical definition:

summary of end result (conclusions) including working drawings from a set of strength and stability calculations

“Generally recognised standard configuration”

Technical definition:

Arrangement of scaffold components which has been shown either by strength and stability calculations or by custom and practise to be fit for purposes for its intended use

“Complexity of the scaffold”

Technical definition:

degree of divergence from a generally recognised standard configuration

“Standard plan”

Technical definition:

generic sequence of operations

“… Altered only under the supervision of a competent person, etc.”

Technical definition on ‘how far does this extend?’:

Anywhere where the result of the alteration would have an impact on the safety of the structure or the persons working on it

SCHEDULE 4
“Clear zone”

Technical definition:

The uninterrupted space of sufficient dimensions required to allow the safeguard to deflect or distort as required by its design without coming into contact with items liable to injury the person whose fall is being arrested


SCHEDULE 5

See above, under Regulation 2.

Examples of fundamental principles to be applied to PFPS to determine which part of Schedule 5 might apply:

Principle:
Part 1 applies to everything


Principle:
Work restraint – if you are able to fall it is fundamentally not work restraint no matter what it is called


Note: The term “fall restraint” is incorrect and should not be used -the correct term is “work restraint”.

Principle:
“Work restraint” (Part 5) becomes “work positioning” (Part 2) at the point when the connection between the body holding device and the reliable anchor begins to provide support to the user, which the user needs to rely on to maintain his position.


Note: On a sloping surface this is likely to occur when the angle of the slope exceeds approximately 17o – 22o (to the horizontal) depending on the condition of the surface the user is standing on (17o wet and slippy; 22o dry non slippy).

When the equipment involves the use of ropes or lines:

Principle:
Just because ropes or lines may be used does not automatically mean that Part 3 (Rope access and positioning techniques) should be applied.


Principle:
If the rope moves with the user then functionality will either be work positioning (Part 2) (e.g. a bosun’s chair or arboriculture body-thrusting (‘prussiking’) on single rope) or fall arrest (Part 4)


(e.g. lead climbing).
Note: It is intended that in this type of application the equipment will always be subject to LOLER as the person (load) is being raised and lowered by the equipment and in particular the rope.

Principle:
If the rope remains stationary and user moves along it using his own effort functionality will either be work positioning (e.g. on a sloping surface say using a rope grab on a standing line) or rope access and positioning (moving up and down using two predominantly vertical stationary lines)


Note: It is intended that in this type of application the equipment might ultimately not be subject to LOLER as the person (load) moves him/herself along the equipment and in particular the ropes20 .

At time of writing (April 2006) legal opinion is that rope access equipment continues to fall under LOLER because LOLER only require there to a lifting or lowering of a load. It is the lowering aspect and the descending device being work equipment that effectively brings RA into LOLER

SCHEDULE 5, PART 1
“Prevent uncontrolled or unplanned movement”


Technical definition:

Fail to safe

SCHEDULE 5, PART 3
“Ergonomic constraints”

Technical definition:

limitations within which the suitable arrangements of the workplace to allow the person to adopt the correct working position or posture for the work being undertaken

“Mobile fall protection system”

Technical definition:

A moveable device which provides fail to safe fall protection in the event of the working line support system failing which follows or is moved with the worker during any task he performs

SCHEDULE 6
“Effective anti slip or other effective stability device”


Technical definition:

Anything that passes the Loughborough test detailed in RR 205.


ANNEX 3 (informative)
EXTRACTS FROM THE WORK AT HEIGHT REGULATIONS 2005


The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 735) is subject to Crown Copyright protection. The text is provided purely to assist the reader.

Avoidance of risks from work at height

6. -(1) In identifying the measures required by this regulation, every employer shall take account of a risk assessment under regulation 3 of the Management Regulations21 .
(2) Every employer shall ensure that work is not carried out at height where it is reasonably practicable to carry out the work safely otherwise than at height.
(3) Where work is carried out at height, every employer shall take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.
(4) The measures required by paragraph (3) shall include (
a) his ensuring that the work is carried out (
i) from an existing place of work; or
(ii) (in the case of obtaining access or egress) using an existing means, which complies with Schedule 1, where it is reasonably practicable to carry it out safely and under appropriate ergonomic conditions; and

(b) where it is not reasonably practicable for the work to be carried out in accordance with subparagraph
(a), his providing sufficient work equipment for preventing, so far as is reasonably practicable, a fall occurring.
(5) Where the measures taken under paragraph (4) do not eliminate the risk of a fall occurring, every employer shall (
a) so far as is reasonably practicable, provide sufficient work equipment to minimise (
i) the distance and consequences; or
(ii) where it is not reasonably practicable to minimise the distance, the consequences, of a fall; and

(b) without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (3), provide such additional training and instruction or take other additional suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.

Fragile surfaces

9. -(1) Every employer shall ensure that no person at work passes across or near, or works on, from or near, a fragile surface where it is reasonably practicable to carry out work safely and under appropriate ergonomic conditions without his doing so.
(2) Where it is not reasonably practicable to carry out work safely and under appropriate ergonomic conditions without passing across or near, or working on, from or near, a fragile surface, every employer shall (
a) ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that suitable and sufficient platforms, coverings, guard rails or similar means of support or protection are provided and used so that any foreseeable loading is supported by such supports or borne by such protection;
(b) where a risk of a person at work falling remains despite the measures taken under the preceding provisions of this regulation, take suitable and sufficient measures to minimise the distances and consequences of his fall.
(3) Where any person at work may pass across or near, or work on, from or near, a fragile surface, every employer shall ensure that (
a) prominent warning notices are so far as is reasonably practicable affixed at the approach to the place where the fragile surface is situated; or
(b) where that is not reasonably practicable, such persons are made aware of it by other means.
(4) Paragraph (3) shall not apply where members of the police, fire, ambulance or other emergency services are acting in an emergency.
Falling objects

10. -(1) Every employer shall, where necessary to prevent injury to any person, take suitable and sufficient steps to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, the fall of any material or object.
(2) Where it is not reasonably practicable to comply with the requirements of paragraph (1), every employer shall take suitable and sufficient steps to prevent any person being struck by any falling material or object which is liable to cause personal injury.
(3) Every employer shall ensure that no material or object is thrown or tipped from height in circumstances where it is liable to cause injury to any person.
(4) Every employer shall ensure that materials and objects are stored in such a way as to prevent risk to any person arising from the collapse, overturning or unintended movement of such materials or objects.
Danger areas

11. Without prejudice to the preceding requirements of these Regulations, every employer shall ensure that
(a) where a workplace contains an area in which, owing to the nature of the work, there is a risk of any person at work
(i) falling a distance; or
(ii) being struck by a falling object,
which is liable to cause personal injury, the workplace is so far as is reasonably practicable equipped with devices preventing unauthorised persons from entering such area; and

(b) such area is clearly indicated.
Inspection of work equipment

12. -(1) This regulation applies only to work equipment to which regulation 8 and Schedules 2 to 6 apply.
(2) Every employer shall ensure that, where the safety of work equipment depends on how it is installed or assembled, it is not used after installation or assembly in any position unless it has been inspected in that position.
(3) Every employer shall ensure that work equipment exposed to conditions causing deterioration which is liable to result in dangerous situations is inspected (
a) at suitable intervals; and
(b) each time that exceptional circumstances which are liable to jeopardise the safety of the work equipment have occurred, to ensure that health and safety conditions are maintained and that any deterioration can be detected and remedied in good time.

(4) Without prejudice to paragraph (2), every employer shall


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