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OBUHSN-42 Issue 01 April 2009
This Health and Safety Notice should be read and understood by all staff of Oxford Brookes University. Where appropriate it should also be brought to the attention of the student body.
A place is ‘at height’ if a person could be injured by falling from it, even if it is at or below ground level. For example a person standing at ground level could sustain an injury if they were to fall into a trench. The regulations do not designate a minimum height at which they apply, but refer to any height at which a fall may cause an injury.
The duty holders must:
Before work at height begins, a risk assessment must be carried out and appropriate measures put in place in order to reduce the risk of injury to the person(s) working at height or to other persons in the vicinity. Methods for caring out risk assessments are given in the University Health and Safety Notice OBUHSN-36
Reference should be made to the University Safety Notice, OBUHSN-14, Safe Working by Contractors. In the case of a contractor being appointed by the University to work at height, the University’s Contract Administrator must be satisfied with the method statement for the tasks to be carried out and with the competence of those who are to work at height. In certain circumstances a risk assessment may indicate that it is necessary to draw up a Permit to work.
In order to access the location where work at height is to be carried out, it will often be necessary to make use of equipment such as steps, ladders, scaffolding, or mobile elevating work platforms (MEWP). The equipment which is to be used should be selected and utilised in order to minimise the risk of injury to those working at height or to others in the vicinity of the work. Guidance in the use of this type of equipment is given below.
Steps and ladders should only be used where work is for a short duration, for no more than 30 minutes in one location, and is for relatively light work, with loads of no greater than 10kg and in which three points of contact with the ladder can be made at all times.
Steps or ladders may only be used if they have a label which indicates their class. Class 1 (industrial use) steps or ladders for loads (including the weight of the person using the ladder) of up to 130kg, or EN1312 (commercial use) steps or ladders for loads up to 115kg should be used on University business. Class III (domestic use) ladders are prohibited.
Before every use, steps or ladders should be examined to ensure that they are in good condition. Ladders must not be used if they are bent, have missing or damaged feet, have damaged, loose or missing rungs. Stepladders must not be used if the fixings for the locking bars are loose or damaged or if the platform is damaged or does not properly engage. Further guidance of checks to be carried out before using ladders can be found on the.
A leaning ladder is in a good position when it
When in use
Those erecting scaffolding must be fully trained and competent in the erection and operation of the equipment
When intending to use Tower Scaffolding it must be ensured that
Detailed guidance for the use of Tower Scaffold may be found in the HSE Information.
When intending to use MEWP it must be ensured that
To comply with the Work at Height Regulations, inspections of scaffolds and other work platforms for construction work over two meters high, including tower scaffolds and MEWP must be carried out by a competent person, with appropriate experience, knowledge and qualification. When put in place by University personnel, the inspections will be made by competent University staff. The inspection should be carried out before first use, after substantial alteration, following events, such as high winds likely to have affected stability and at regular intervals not exceeding seven days.
The University has systems in place to have ladders, scaffold towers, MEWP, and lifting equipment assessed by professional inspectors on a regular basis, in order to determine their suitability for use. Dean of Faculty and Directors of Directorates must ensure that these procedures are followed for the equipment within their Faculties or Directorates.
The procedure for utilising these processes can be found in.
If providing working platforms or edge protection is not possible or reasonably practical, alternative methods will need to be utilised to minimise the risk of falls.
The Health and Safety Executive have produced a number of useful documents in relation to working at height, these include the following;