The Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM) were introduced in 1994 to provide worker safety. CDM regulations require designers, contractors, employers, planning supervisors, clients to be jointly responsible for workers safety, in all construction aspects, starting with demolishing, build, maintenance. 2002 (ACOP) a revised code of practise was introduced with additional requirements for clients and designers:
Full co-operation with planning supervisors, contractors to meet with Health & Safety requirements.
Have a responsibility to ensure the competence of designers, contractors and planning supervisors.
HSE Code of Practise
This identifies the requirement of the employer to ensure that any employee required to work at height must be suitably protected from any fall hazard.
Working at Height Regulations
In 2005/06 falls from height accounted for 46 fatal accidents at work and around 3350 major injuries. They remain the single biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the main causes of major injury. The Work at Height Regulations are written for employers, the self employed and anyone who works at height. It tells what you need to do to comply with the Work at Height Regulations 2005, as amended by the Work at Height (Amendment) Regulations 2007. The regulations apply to all work at height where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury.
To download a brief guide (in PDF format) to the Work At Height Regulations 2005 provided by the Health and Safety Executive click here.
Working at Height Regulations 2005
The key issues for rooftop maintenance are summarised as follows:
The ‘duty-holder’ is responsible for minimising risk utilising the methodology stipulated in the ‘Hierarchy of Fall Protection’. The risk assessment and the action taken should be proportionate to the harm that could occur.
Working at height is defined as ‘all work activities where there is a need to control a risk of falling a distance liable to cause personal injury’. This means that if there is a chance of a fall of any distance the duty-holder must show that everything has been done to minimise the risk.
The duty-holder must make sure the equipment specified is suitable for the particular use envisaged. It is critical to identify the difference between fall arrest and fall restraint.
Inspection and maintenance are required to ensure that equipment is safe to use. The maintenance schedule will depend on the equipment, the conditions in which it is used and the manufacturers’ instructions.
The following legislation should be taken into account when addressing the issue if working at height.
Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974
This is an “Enabling Act” which imposes a duty of care on everyone at work related to their roles. This includes employers, employees, owners, occupiers, designers, suppliers, manufacturers and the self employed.
Section 2 concerns the main duty of employers to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of the employees by providing a written health and safety policy; safe plant and system of work and to provide information, training and supervision.
Sections 3 – 5 details an employer’s duty to ensure that people not in their employment are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. There is also a general provision for monitoring both employees and persons not in their employment to ensure compliance through method statements, risk assessments and general health and safety policies for completing a specific activity. This includes contractors working on their premises.
Section 37 covers the personal liability of Directors. If an offence is committed by a corporate body or can be attributed to the neglect of a director or other senior officer of that corporate body, both the corporate body and the person are liable to prosecution.