Look at how employees, contractors, visitors and members of the public could be affected by your activities. The policy should be a strategic document which establishes procedures for working at height, and what controls could be implemented.
You should also make sure all roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, which could even extend to senior managers with responsibility for ensuring the competence of all contractors.
We don't recommend this. Source: Google
The importance of… a work at height audit
Once you have a policy in place, the next step is to carry out an overall audit of working at height activities, ensuring that all relevant procedures are covered. These include:
Risk assessments: they should be completed, relevant to the specific past and reviewed regularly
Inspections: has the equipment been inspected regularly, with inspection sheets and reports completed?
Maintenance: if you’re going to be using access equipment, you should make sure it is maintained properly also
Ladders: is there a ladder register, is it up to date, and are items individually identifiable?
Lanyards and harnesses: are the register and inspection sheets up to date? Are items individually identifiable? Are users properly trained with correct emergency and rescue procedures in place?
Training: are all relevant personnel trained in equipment being used, are they trained in height awareness, and is that training up to date?
Training is vital with any work at height. Source: Safesite
The importance of… assessing individual tasks
When you’re assessing tasks, your responsibilities will vary depending on who is carrying out the task, and how they will be doing it.
If your employees are doing the work, you need to carry out a thorough risk assessment of what’s required, making sure you prepare a method statement for the work. If you’re employing a contractor, they should be expected to provide you with a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and method statement. Ensure you also ask contractors for proof they are competent to do the work. This could include:
Relevant insurance details
Training records for the task and equipment being used
Maintenance and inspection records for equipment being used
When you are happy with your own or, if hiring, the contractor's risk assessment and method statement, then you’re ready to get started.
In Part Two of this Blog, we’ll look at Dynamic Risk Assessments. Remember, work at height is inherently high risk, so assessing the risks must be a continuous process always at the forefront of your mind. Carrying out a dynamic risk assessment before work starts will help you to ensure that circumstances have not changed since your main risk assessment was prepared.