The risk assessments should apply to all existing places of work and means of access for work at height, collective fall prevention (e.g. High winds can also vibrate loose couplings on scaffolds. Toe boards also prevent anyone kicking items off the edge of platforms. Another hazard associated with a worker working from a height is the risk that a person or object will fall and hit another worker below – so take that into account when you conduct your risk assessment as well, e.g. This pooling of blood in the legs reduces the amount of blood flowing in the body and so the heart rate increases, and breathing increases to maintain the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain and organs. Providing a covered walkway is another way to protect people below. nibusinessinfo.co.uk, a free service offered by Invest Northern Ireland, is the official online channel for business advice and guidance in Northern Ireland. Introduction Thisinformationsheetgivesemployersandemployeespracticaladviceonworkat height and falling objects and how to eliminate or reduce the risk of harm or This would include issues such as sloping, uneven or soft ground conditions; obstructions such as steelwork, pipework or overhangs; any fragile surfaces and maximum floor loadings. If they're accidentally dropped, the line prevents them falling below the work area. Enter your information and our Subscriptions Manager will contact you. You must ensure that any work at height is postponed if weather conditions present a danger to the health and safety of workers. Tools such as drills and trowels can be attached to safety lines. Similarly, plastic roof lights deteriorate due to the effects of ultra violet light from the sun leaving them brittle. If regular or occasional access is required to or near a fragile surface then permanent guardrails should be put in place. However, you must wear suitable head protection (such as a hard hat) when there is a risk of: Objects falling on your head. Traditionally, significant risk concerning working at height has begun with work over 2 metres. A hard hat protects the wearer from severe head injury as a result of: Impact from small objects that fall. Remember risk is a combination of two factors – likelihood and severity; how likely is the person to fall and how bad will the consequence of the fall be? not clip onto the strong point. Scaffolding is often erected by unqualified operatives, and is sometimes improvised, using unsuitable materials. Think about your workplace and whether there are any risks of falling objects. guardrails and working platforms), collective fall arrest (e.g. The figure above regarding major injuries proves this to be a mistake. Asbestos sheets deteriorate over time leaving the remaining material in a particularly fragile state. This avoids others being put at risk during set up and dismantling. Working at heights can pose a serious risk of injury or death from falling. a hammer from 10 storeys up). A ladder or stepladder may be acceptable for short duration work, e.g. Rain, snow and high winds all carry an increased health risk to the worker form localised cooling of the extremities (frostbite) and general cooling of the body core (hypothermia) which can be dangerous. up ladders, on work platforms, or on roofs); If you have to use a fall arrest system you must make sure there is adequate clearance for it to deploy, so the user does not hit an obstruction or the ground before the fall is stopped. Risk Rating H/M/L Use of incorrect equipment (desk, chairs etc) Falls, falling objects Staff. Emergency procedures need to be considered for all reasonably foreseeable circumstances. Personal measures have disadvantages – they require a high level of training and maintenance, and they only protect the user. When people are working at height you must consider the risk of objects falling onto somebody or something below. Materials such as nails, pieces of wood and debris can also represent a significant hazard. Most construction, mining, oil and gas and other workers are comfortable with working at height, which creates an even more dangerous beast. The storage area should be clean, dry and free of exposure to fumes or corrosive elements. As well as the risks posed by the work at height itself, consider those caused by falling objects, or by accessing the work location. Proper storage and maintenance after use is as important as cleaning the equipment of dirt, corrosives or contaminants. Where fall restraint/fall arrest equipment is concerned the textiles deteriorate slowly with age regardless of use. 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