Work at Height Assessments and Audits
Today’s roofing contractors are working in an increasingly competitive environment, often expected to provide clients with excellent quality work at an attractive price, which can present a challenge when it comes to ensuring great quality whilst also making a living! As we all know, the lowest price can often mean cutting corners in order to complete a project within budget, a practice which may risk the quality of the finished roof.
Any roofing contractor who is responsible for health and safety, particularly when working at height, will be aware that planning the work properly and ensuring that those who carry out the work are competent to do so is necessary to comply with legislation and protect those working on the project. Today we’re going to take a look at who is responsible for carrying out the audits and risk assessments and what they should be looking for to ensure competency.
Policy – developing a Work at Height Policy is an essential first step. Work at height can cover a wide variety of activities and your policy should consider how employees, contractors, visitors and members of the public may be affected. Your policy should establish the procedures for working and height and what controls should be introduced. The roles and responsibilities within your company should be clearly set out in the policy – for instance, who is responsible for ensuring all contractors are competent to work at height.
Audit – the next task is to carry out a comprehensive audit of work at height activities and make sure that relevant procedures are covered. These may include the following:
- Risk Assessments – have they been completed, are they relevant to the specific task and are they reviewed on a regular basis?
- Inspections – has the equipment been inspected and have inspection logs and reports been completed?
- Maintenance – is all access equipment regularly maintained and records kept up to date?
- Ladders – do you have a register and is it up to date? Are all ladders individually tagged and are inspection logs updated regularly?
- Harnesses and lanyards – do you have a register and is it kept up to date? Are all items of equipment individually identifiable? Are inspection logs up to date? Is everybody who uses access equipment (of any kind) properly trained in its use?
- Training – are all personnel fully trained in the equipment being used? Are they all trained in height awareness and rescue? Do all workers undergo refresher training on a regular basis?
- Emergency procedures – do you have comprehensive emergency and rescue procedures in place?
Once you have ensured that your Policy and Audit have been properly carried out, it’s time to ensure that comprehensive Risk Assessment are undertaken for individual tasks that require personnel to work at height. Next week we’ll be taking a more detailed look at this – follow us on Facebook or Twitter to make sure you don’t miss this vital information.