Health and Safety for working at height
WHO'S RESPONSIBLE?The hirer, the user and on construction sites the main contractor are all responsible for ensuring the appropriate equipment is used and operated correctly, and that users have adequate training and are equipped to comply with current Health & Safety legislation. Good planning along with suitable training of both operators and supervisors prevents accidents, ensures efficiency and enhances productivity. Whether you are an employer, employee or self-employed, the regulations apply to everyone.
PLANNING, ORGANISATION & SUPERVISIONAll working at height must be adequately supervised. The supervisor should check that the job has been properly discussed with the operators and adjoining works to ensure that everyone is aware of the risks and what is / is not required. Make sure to consider all risks in advance and carefully choose the right equipment for the job. To avoid accidents always complete a full risk assessment, method statement and emergency rescue plan.
TRAININGMake sure your operators are fully trained. Training not only improves safety but can increase productivity, enhance awareness and save money. As an approved International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) supplier, we can provide the appropriate courses you need to suit your individual requirements. Remember to always wear a harness when using a boom unless you work over water as defined by IPAF. Call our UTN Training team on 08707 871 511 to find out more.
FAMILIARISATIONMEWPs can differ significantly in terms of weight, height, width, length or complexity. Those intending to use MEWPs with characteristics which differ from those they trained on should ensure they receive familiarisation training to cover the differences. Ask us about IPAF Familiarisation training – firstname.lastname@example.org.
RISK ASSESSMENTMake sure that a full risk assessment is carried out before any work takes place, remembering to include items such as the ground conditions, wind speed, operator safety and machine maintenance. Protect both your workforce and site visitors by barricading the work area and ensure that loads are not suspended under the platform. Maintain safe distances when working near power lines; at least 15m from lines mounted on a steel tower and 9m from those mounted on poles.
EMERGENCY RESCUEIt is a legal requirement to plan for emergency and rescue situations when anyone is working at height. Quickly rescuing someone who has become trapped can make a significant difference to the injuries sustained.
Whilst a MEWP is in use and a trapping risk exists, it is highly recommended that there is always someone at ground level who is able to take action in the event of an emergency.
A suitable rescue plan must be developed to ensure that emergency recovery can be carried out safely and quickly in the event of an operator, or anyone else, becoming trapped between the platform and an adjacent object. MEWP operators, supervisors and others involved should not only be briefed on, but well practiced in, the emergency procedures to follow if someone becomes trapped. Regular drills should be carried out and must include practising the use of the ground controls and emergency controls for each machine in use.
The emergency descent controls and systems are often specific to individual machines. The location of the machine operator’s manual needs to be identified in the emergency plan so that those people who are authorised to operate the ground and emergency controls can refer to it, if necessary, in the event of an emergency.
MACHINE MAINTENANCEDaily pre-use checks of your machine are part of your contractual agreement and play a vital part in protecting your workforce. Make sure hire machines and the sites they are stored on are secure, as vandalism can result in serious damage and accidents, incurring avoidable costs for your company. Find out more about the different protection covers Damage Waiver and All Risk page.
Every machine undergoes a pre-delivery inspection before being released for hire from an AFI depot.
- If the machine fails the inspection it will not go on hire until it has been repaired and has passed a repeat inspection.
- Every machine in the AFI fleet is subject to a planned maintenance programme which meets the manufacturer's specification.
- Each machine in our fleet also undergoes a 'thorough examination' every six months.
- LOLER pdf download
Other Safety Measures
- We are always pleased to assist our customers with any information and help they may need.
- We recommend that all your operators are fully trained in the safe and effective use of powered access equipment.
- We offer Working at Height training through UTN Training to IPAF or CITB standards, at convenient locations throughout the country.
- We offer a wide range of safety equipment
- PUWER pdf download