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Working at Height Safety Training



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How Does Rescue Legislation Impact on You and Your Company

Wed, 29 Jul 2009 15:10:00 +0000

It may come as a shock to some that their workers face considerable danger after a fall. As a result many companies are lacking a "thought-out, detailed and fully implemented rescue plan."Harnesses can become deadly whenever a worker is suspended for durations over five minutes in an upright posture, with the legs relaxed straight beneath the body. After five minutes they will likely be unconscious, by 10 minutes there is a strong possibility that their brain and other organs will begin to fail or even death occur due to lack of oxygen as blood is prevented from circulating. The cause of this problem is called 'suspension trauma'. It is now a legal requirement to have a rescue planIn general, whether it is construction or general industry, employers are not really prepared for rescue, though they probably would say they are. The best rescue strategy is to take every possible precaution to prevent operatives from falling in the first place.But the reality is that falls happen, even on the work sites of the most safety conscious employers, and a rescue plan is an essential component of a company’s overall fall protection method statement and risk assessment. The lack of any form of a pre-conceived post-fall rescue plan, not only puts the fall victim at risk, but also puts rescuers in harms way. Whenever you have unplanned attempts to rescue, second or third injuries or fatalities are not uncommon.It is with these issues in mind that the HSE introduced The Work at Height Regulations: 2005Are you breaking the law on your sites without knowing it?Before any work at height can commence on site the following provisions must be in place as a minimum legal requirement:· There must be a rescue plan and procedure· The operatives are trained and competent in use of rescue equipment· Sufficient number of trained and competent personnel on site· The rescue procedure in place is practiced on a regular basis and competence is maintained on record· The selection of rescue equipment needs to be appropriate for the nature of work3 Things You Must Do To Comply With Legislation and Discharge Your Legal Responsibilities.1. Plan For Rescue - You need to prepare a well thought out plan. It doesn’t need to be complex but it does need to be detailed. This should be done following a risk assessment and embodied in a Method Statement. The HSE says” If a person falls while using a fall arrest system, it is not acceptable just to rely on the emergency services, it needs to be covered in the risk assessment and planned prior to the work activity being carried out.” Often we think of the word 'rescue' as calling 999, but calling the local fire brigade does not constitute an effective rescue plan. Response times can be too slow, and not all fire brigades have the capability to rescue from height. Equally ‘crane man baskets’ and ‘MEWPS’ are too restrictive to be considered adequate for rescue.2. Provide Rescue Equipment - The rescue equipment selection should have been an integral part of planning. It’s important that the equipment is easy to use and fast to deploy as time is a critical element and it goes without saying that the equipment must be there, on site, ready for use.3. Training and Practice - Legislation requires that those working at height must be competently trained to rescue. Safety of the casualty and the rescuers is paramount and training for all eventualities is essential as is the need to practice and keep records of competence.Rescue occurs in an environment of tension, pressure and stress, what would happen on your site following a fall? Would rescue be carried out in an orderly way, with the correct response, or would there be a degree of panic and chaos.Ultimately legislation is there to provide the correct framework and guidance to ensure the adequate care and wellbeing of operatives on site. For more information visit: http://www.leadingedgesafety.co.uk/at-height-rescue-gs.phpAuthor: Drew BeardmoreManaging Director Leading Edge SafetyLeading Edge Supplies are providers of Working at Height Rescue Training[...]



Working at Height Safety Training

Wed, 29 Jul 2009 15:10:00 +0000

Height Safety Guidance working at height in restraint on construction sites What is restraint?Working in restraint allows an operative the access and mobility required to reach the leading edge (potential fall hazard) and carry out their tasks whilst preventing them from potentially falling.Types of RestraintThere are 3 main types of restraint equipment found on construction sites:l Fixed length restraint - A lanyard of a specific length preventing access beyond the fall hazard l Adjustable restraint - A line with mechanical adjustment allowing the operative to personally adjust their equipment - for packages where edge exposure is not a constant distance from the anchorage. l Running line restraint system - A horizontal lifeline used in conjunction with personal adjustable restraint - ensuring the anchorage remains directly behind the operative preventing pendulum. Restraint versus Fall ArrestThe most fundamental difference between the two methods of work is the fall potential. Fall arrest allows the operative to fall and then ‘arrests’ this fall. Restraint, when used correctly, prevents the fall occurring. Working in restraint significantly reduces the risk of falling and therefore all the issues related to fall hazards:Height clearance implications - with restraint, height clearance is not an issue as there is no fall to deal with. The problem with using fall arrest equipment is the clear height required to operate, e.g. a fall arrest lanyard clipped at foot level requires up to 6.75m to operate safely. When working between floor zones this is clearly unsuitable.If a fall is interrupted by hitting the lower surface during the shock absorbing process, the force still left in the system with potentially fatal effects.Special consideration should also be given where a lanyard is to be used in a situation where it could pass over an edge during a fall, e.g. formwork element, slab edge. There are no legal requirements for lanyards to be tested passing over an edge; as they are designed to fall into free space.As a result the majority of lanyards, particularly flat webbing, are not capable of withstanding the increased forces created by the acute angle as the lanyard passes over the edge.Rescue provision and method statementsWhen using fall arrest equipment on site, the contractor has to provide a suitable method statement detailing rescue provision. By working in fixed restraint, there is no fall to deal with, thus rescue provisions are not an issue. When using adjustable and running line restraint systems, provision for rescue needs to be provided, in the event of operator misuse.AnchorageOne of the biggest problems in providing fall protection is the provision of suitable, adequate anchorage in the appropriate location. When using fixed restraint equipment the anchorage requirement can be as little as 3 times the weight of the user, typically 400kg because there is no possibility of falling. An example of this would be using a fixed restraint in the basket of a scissor lift.If there is a 1% chance of a fall, then a fall arrest anchorage must be provided. Fall arrest anchorage points can be identified by a competent person. When using an adjustable restraint and a horizontal lifeline system the provision of suitable fall protection temporary or permanent anchorage point is required.User comfortRestraint greatly reduces the load (pull) applied to the operatives body compared to using an inertia reel (fall arrest block).Work site projects and trades require workers to be trained to achieve a high standard of competence in order to work safely at height. In depth knowledge of the equipment and safety concerns can not only improve an operator’s confidence and efficiency but will also save lives and prevent serious injuries.Leading Edge height safety training courses are specifically designed for anyone whose job requires them to work at height and involves using the necessary safety equipment required to do this. For more information visit http://www.leadingedgesafety.co.uk More than 5000 p[...]