Although working at height is a risky activity, there are times when it simply cannot be avoided. Over the last few years there has been good progress made in reducing the number of fatalities and injuries from working at height. However, there is no room for complacency as falls from height still account for around a third of all fatalities in the workplace.
It is everyone’s responsibility – whether you are a property owner, facilities manager or anyone else that controls work at height, you can be held responsible if an accident occurs, particularly if your fall protection equipment or fall arrest/restraint PPE is found to be faulty or uncertified.
Facility managers therefore have a legal duty to ensure that Personal Fall Protection Systems and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) are in place and certified by a competent person. This certification should be done as a minimum once a year and for some equipment, more often. Carrying out testing and re-certification, according to the guidance, ensures that you remain compliant.
As a Facilities Manager, you are required to take responsibility for certain duties of care under the Work at Height Regulations 2005. These state that workers must have available to them the appropriate Work at Height equipment. Employers should also be trained appropriately in the use of this equipment.
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 is split into specific sections, or Regulations. For instance, Regulation 12 deals with the inspection of fall protection equipment. Here, again, the responsibility lies with you, the employer, to have Work at Height equipment properly tested and inspected. For example, in the case of handrail and guardrail (under PUWER 1998) this would require at least 12 monthly inspections. For Work at Height equipment being used in more hazardous locations, it is required to be inspected more often, as per manufacturers’ guidance.
Facilities Managers are often faced with a daily requirement for working at height. Whether it is accessing lights, cleaning windows or general high level building maintenance, it is your responsibility to ensure that workers are safe. At Heightsafe Systems we understand that ensuring safe working at height is one of your key responsibility and can help you achieve this critical objective.
Whether it’s identifying the most appropriate PPE equipment for your employees or supplying, installing or testing the equipment on a building, we can help. Our work at height solutions can ensure that your staff remain safe and efficient in their roles.
Contact Heightsafe Systems to make sure you are, above all else, safe; 020 3819 7199