The earlier the decision concerning edge protection is made, the greater the project will benefit. Frequently the Main Contractor is expected to install the initial edge protection, however without care and information this will often need to be moved or even removed as the project progresses, resulting in frustration, delay and cost. A system solution that can accommodate the needs of the various trades as the project progresses, can be incorporated into the project design to minimise installation at height, and that can be readily adjusted as the needs change, will save time and money and better contribute to project safety. This requires early consideration, shared detail between contractors, and perhaps the involvement of technical or specification support from the supplier.
The area requiring installation, is by definition “unsafe.” Every effort should be made to install (or partially install) the edge protection without the need to work at height, however this is not always possible. Therefore all those installing and supervising the installation, must also be formally trained and competent to work at height, on a leading edge, using temporary fall protection equipment (harness and lanyard systems).
Anchor attachment points must be specified within the method statement, and in general terms should be above and behind any worker. The shorter the lanyard, whilst still permitting work, the better.
To meet HSE compliance, all systems must have instructions for use, and those installing edge protection systems on site should have been formally trained by the system supplier, and they should follow the installation instructions in detail. Care is also needed to ensure that components are correctly selected and installed.
After installation, before each occasion of use, and very at least every year, the installed system should be checked by a competent person, trained by the system manufacturer, to confirm its continued fitness for purpose. This check should be recorded. Most manufacturers provide a suitable checklist within the Installation Instructions.
Heightsafe Systems design, install and commission Edge Protection systems, as well as other forms of collective Fall Arrest & Fall Prevention systems.