The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has announced that it will be carrying out spontaneous site inspections between 3rd October and 4th November 2016. The inspectors will be targeting all construction sites, although they will be focussing specifically on projects involving renovation, maintenance and improvement works. They will be checking that safety risks are being properly and effectively managed, which includes Work at Height activities.
These unannounced inspections are underway and with consequences for breaches in legislation including large fines and the power to close down a site, now is the time to check that your Work at Height systems are fully compliant.
As an employer, facility manager, building owner or anyone else that controls Work at Height (the duty holder), you can be held responsible should an accident occur, particularly if any safety equipment is found to be faulty or uncertified. You as well as the self-employed are duty bound by the Work at Height Regulations 2005 to eliminate or reduce the risks when working at height. Therefore, if HSE inspectors find that your equipment is non-compliant with Work at Height requirements, or any other relevant safety legislation, you will be held responsible.
The simple fact is that you have a legal duty to ensure that fall arrest and fall protection systems are in place and that they are being used by trained personnel. The equipment should also be certified by a competent person as a minimum once a year, and more often for fall arrest or abseiling systems.
Carrying out regular testing and re-certification – especially if it’s done by a company that specialises in Work at Height services – will mean that you will have nothing to fear in this regard from an unannounced visit by the HSE inspectors.
Here are some of the areas that the inspectors will be focussing on:
- That Work at Height tasks have been correctly planned and identified to ensure that precautions are in place;
- All equipment is correctly installed, used and assembled and is inspected and maintained in line with legislation and;
- Sites are organised to avoid workers being subject to slips, trips and falls and that walkways and stairs are free from obstructions;
- Workers are aware of the areas in which they may come across asbestos and what they must do if they find it.
Where breaches of legislation are found, immediate enforcement action will be taken by the inspectors, who will require that measures are put in place before any further site work can be carried out. It’s worth bearing in mind that Fees For Intervention (FFI) may be imposed by HSE at a cost of £124 for every hour of the inspector’s time spent working on improving the site.
Our highly experienced Work at Height specialists can take away the uncertainty that surrounds an unannounced visit by HSE inspectors with:
- Testing and certification of all manufacturers PPE / Work at Height systems, on all types of roof surfaces and on all types of commercial and industrial buildings;
- Ensure all your Work at Height Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is tested and inspected in line with BS EN 365:2004 regulations;
- Ensure your manufacturers systems are fully certified by qualified Installers;
- Check for visible, compliant tags in all Work at Height PPE and provide photographic evidence of this and;
- Attend to any gutter or roof issues whilst ensuring the roof is compliant with legislation, providing information on the access to the roof area and systems.
Call us today, before you get a call from HSE: 020 3819 7199 or contact us here.