SAFETY, QUALITY, AND INNOVATION
No tolerance is essential to height safety – because our lives depend on it. ARESTA equipment is the result of extensive global research, innovation, and a design ethos to create a harm free environment for the Fall Protection Safety industry.
ARESTA safety equipment is fast becoming known for advanced protection and best performance whilst representing outstanding value for certified safety equipment. Always attentive to the needs of the industry, ARESTA is constantly developing new, innovative, and ergonomic products that combine user comfort, precision engineering and strictest safety codes.
The quality ARESTA range provides technical solutions with a wide selection of height safety PPE for today’s demanding challenges for safety when work at height. Our mission is to create a harm free environment for working at height, by innovation in designing product safety, quality and innovation excellence and integrity in product design, training, delivery, and support services.
ARESTA equipment is designed with the highest margins of safety and tested beyond the requirements of international standards, by independent testing houses that hold international safety standard accreditation. Combining exceptional performance with superior strength and durability, all ARESTA height safety equipment is manufactured by world leaders with the highest levels of quality control including ISO9001:2008. The stakes are high. When it comes to worker safety, there are no second chances.
For more resources and complete up to date information about the ARESTA range and distribution, visit www.xenithheights.com
WORKING AT HEIGHT
A brief guide
This brief guide describes what you, as an employer, need to do to protect your employees from falls at height. It will also be useful to employees and their representatives. Following this guidance is normally enough to comply with the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR). You are free to take other action, except where the guidance says you must do something specific. Falls from height are one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major injuries. Common causes are falls from ladders and through fragile roofs. The purpose of WAHR is to prevent death and injury from a fall from height. Work at height means work in any place where, if there were no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. For example, you are working at height if you:
• are working on a ladder or a flat roof.
• could fall through a fragile surface.
• could fall into an opening in a floor or a hole in the ground.
Take a sensible approach when considering precautions for work at height. There may be some low-risk situations where common sense tells you no particular precautions are necessary, and the law recognises this. There is a common misconception that ladders, and stepladders are banned, but this is not the case. There are many situations where a ladder is the most suitable equipment for working at height. Before working at height, you must work through these simple steps:
• avoid work at height where it is reasonably practicable to do so.
• where work at height cannot be avoided, prevent falls using either an existing place of work that is already safe or the right type of equipment;
• minimise the distance and consequences of a fall, by using the right type of equipment where the risk is not eliminated.
Figure 1 gives further guidance and examples for each of the above steps to help you comply with the law. You should:
• do as much work as possible from the ground.
• ensure workers can get safely to and from where they work at height.
• ensure equipment is suitable, stable, and strong enough for the job, maintained and checked regularly.
• make sure you do not overload or overreach when working at height.
• take precautions when working on or near fragile surfaces.
• provide protection from falling objects.
• consider your emergency evacuation and rescue procedures.
Who do the Regulations apply to?
If you are an employer or control work at height (for example if you are a contractor or a factory owner), the Regulations apply to you.
How do you comply with these Regulations?
Employers and those in control of any work at height activity must make sure work is properly planned, supervised, and carried out by competent people. This includes using the right type of equipment for working at height.
Low-risk, relatively straightforward tasks will require less effort when it comes to planning. Employers and those in control must first assess the risks.
Take a sensible, pragmatic approach when considering precautions for work at height. Factors to weigh up include the height of the task; the duration and frequency; and the condition of the surface being worked on. There will also be certain low-risk situations where common sense tells you no particular precautions are necessary.
How do you decide if someone is ‘competent’ to work at height?
You should make sure that people with sufficient skills, knowledge and experience are employed to perform the task, or, if they are being trained, that they work under the supervision of somebody competent to do it.
In the case of low-risk, short duration tasks (short duration means tasks that take less than 30 minutes) involving ladders, competence requirements may be no more than making sure employees receive instruction on how to use the equipment safely (eg how to tie a ladder properly) and appropriate training. Training often takes place on the job, it does not always take place in a classroom.
When a more technical level of competence is required, for example drawing up a plan for assembling a complex scaffold, existing training and certification schemes drawn up by trade associations and industry is one way to help demonstrate competence.
What measures should you take to help protect people?
Always consider measures that protect everyone who is at risk (collective protection) before measures that protect only the individual (personal protection). Collective protection is equipment that does not require the person working at height to act to be effective, for example a permanent or temporary guard rail.
Personal protection is equipment that requires the individual to act to be effective. An example is putting on a safety harness correctly and connecting it, via an energy-absorbing lanyard, to a suitable anchor point.
Working at height Page 3 of 7
The step-by-step diagram in Figure 1 should be used alongside all other advice in this leaflet. You do not always need to implement every measure in Figure 1. For example, when working on a fully boarded and guarded scaffold that is already up, not being altered or taken down, workers would not need to wear personal fall-arrest equipment as well.
What are the most common causes of accidents when working at height?
Roof work is high risk and falls from roofs, through fragile roofs and fragile roof lights are one of the most common causes of workplace death and serious injury. As well as in construction, these accidents can also occur on roofs of factories, warehouses, and farm buildings when roof repair work or cleaning is being carried out. The following are likely to be fragile:
• roof lights.
• liner panels on built-up sheeted roofs.
• non-reinforced fibre cement sheets.
• corroded metal sheets.
• glass (including wired glass).
• rotted chipboard.
• slates and tiles.
What do you need to consider when planning work at height?
The following are all requirements in law that you need to consider when planning and undertaking work at height. You must:
• take account of weather conditions that could compromise worker safety.
• check that the place (e.g. a roof) where work at height is to be undertaken is safe. Each place where people will work at height needs to be checked every time before use.
• stop materials or objects from falling or, if it is not reasonably practicable to prevent objects falling, take suitable and sufficient measures to make sure no one can be injured, e.g. use exclusion zones to keep people away or mesh on scaffold to stop materials such as bricks falling off;
• store materials and objects safely so they will not cause injury if they are disturbed or collapse.
• plan for emergencies and rescue, e.g. agree a set procedure for evacuation. Think about foreseeable situations and make sure employees know the emergency procedures.
Do not just rely entirely on the emergency services for rescue in your plan.
Figure 1 Step-by-step diagram
Can you AVOID working at height in the first place? If NO, go to PREVENT
Do as much work as possible from the ground. Some practical examples include:
• using extendable tools from ground level to remove the need to climb a ladder
• installing cables at ground level
• lowering a lighting mast to ground level
• ground level assembly of edge protection
Can you PREVENT a fall from occurring? If NO, go to MINIMISE
You can do this by:
• using an existing place of work that is already safe, e.g. a non-fragile roof with a permanent perimeter guard rail or, if not
• using work equipment to prevent people from falling Some practical examples of collective protection when using an existing place of work:
• a concrete flat roof with existing edge protection, or guarded mezzanine floor, or plant or machinery with fixed guard rails around it Some practical examples of collective protection using work equipment to prevent a fall:
• mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) such as scissor lifts
• tower scaffolds
• scaffolds An example of personal protection using work equipment to prevent a fall:
• using a work restraint (travel restriction) system that prevents a worker getting into a fall position
Can you MINIMISE the distance and/or consequences of a fall?
If the risk of a person falling remains, you must take sufficient measures to minimise the distance and/or consequences of a fall. Practical examples of collective protection using work equipment minimise the distance and consequences of a fall:
• safety nets and soft-landing systems, e.g. air bags, installed close to the level of the work an example of personal protection used to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall:
• industrial rope access, e.g. working on a building facade fall-arrest system using a high anchor point
Using ladders and stepladders
For tasks of low risk and short duration, ladders and stepladders can be a sensible and practical option. If your risk assessment determines it is correct to use a ladder, you should further MINIMISE the risk by making sure workers:
• use the right type of ladder for the job
• are competent (you can provide adequate training and/or supervision to help)
• use the equipment provided safely and follow a safe system of work
• are fully aware of the risks and measures to help control them Follow HSE guidance on safe use of ladders and stepladders at
FALL PROTECTION STANDARDS
These set the standard for the manufacture of equipment and application of safety systems. Fall protection systems should conform to the relevant Safety Standards. Safety standards are the minimum acceptable requirement
European Standards (EN)
EN 341 Rescue descender devices
EN 353 Guided type fall arrester
EN 354 Lanyards EN 358 Work positioning systems
EN 360 Retractable type fall arrester
EN 361 Full body harnesses
EN 362 Work connectors
EN 397 Industrial safety helmet
EN 566 Slings EN 567 Rope clamps
EN 795/B Portable anchor devices
EN 813 Half harnesses
EN 1496 Rescue lifting devices
EN 1498 Rescue loops
EN 1891 Low stretch Kernmantle ropes
EN 12278 Pulleys
EN 12492 Helmets for mountaineers
EN 12841 Rope adjustment systems
EN 14052 High performance industrial safety helmets
Australian / New Zealand Standards AS/NZS relating to height safety.
AS/NZS 1891.1:2007 Safety belts and harnesses
AS/NZS 1891.2:2001 Industrial fall-arrest systems and devices – Horizontal lifeline and rail systems AS/NZS 1891.3:1997 Industrial fall-arrest systems and devices
AS/NZS 1891.4:2009 Industrial fall-arrest systems and devices – Selection, use and maintenance AS/NZS 1801:1997 Occupational protective helmets
AS/NZS 1892.1:1996 Portable ladders: Metal
AS/NZS 1892.2:1996 Portable ladders: Timber
AS/NZS 1892.3:1996 Portable ladders: Reinforced plastic
AS/NZS 4387:1996 Safety mesh
AS/NZS 4994.1 2009 Temporary Edge Protection
AS/NZS 4488:1997 Industrial rope access systems
AS/NZS 4576:1995 Guidelines for scaffolding Part 1: Specifications, Part 2: Selection, use and maintenance
AZ/NZS 5532:2014 Manufacturing requirements for single-point anchor device used for harness-based work at height
US Standards (ANSI) Z359-1 Safety Requirements for Personal Fall Arrest Systems, Subsystems, and Components
This standard establishes requirements for the performance, design, marking, qualifications, instructions, training, inspection, use, maintenance, and removal from service of connectors, full body harnesses, lanyards, energy absorbers, anchorage connectors, fall arresters, vertical lifelines, and self-retracting lanyards comprising personal fall arrest systems for users within the capacity range of 130 to 310 pounds.
This standard address only personal fall arrest systems incorporating full body harnesses. This standard address equipment for personal protection against falls from heights and applies to the manufacturers, distributors, purchasers, and users of such equipment. Before any equipment shall bear the mark Z359-1 all requirements of this standard must be met.
CARE, MAINTENANCE, AND INSPECTION
Height Safety and Fall Arrest plans must include proper care and maintenance of all personal protective equipment along with the associated items necessary for a complete fall protection/fall arrest system.
Training sessions related to care and maintenance should be held at regular intervals depending on the nature of the work.
Frequent training sessions are more appropriate for an employer with a transient work force than for an employer with a mature stable work force.
EN, AS/NZS, OHS, ANSI and OSHA standards require that training is given by a competent, accredited person or training organisation. The user is responsible to be qualified for work at height, ensuring that he/she knows how to properly inspect, use, store and maintain the equipment.
Personal protection equipment (harnesses, lanyards, etc.) along with connectors and other related items should be stored in a clean, dry environment free from direct sunlight, dust, excessive heat, and harmful chemicals.
Personal protection equipment should be cleaned periodically using specialist cleaner, or a mild detergent and water. Wash with a soft, non-abrasive brush or sponge and allow to air dry after removing the excess water with a dry cloth.
DO NOT put personal protection equipment in clothes dryer or use a blow dryer. Excessive heat may melt the webbing and alter the strength. DO NOT use chemicals to clean heavily soiled gear. Chemicals may destroy webbing, equipment, and function.
Frequency of inspection
Personal fall protection/fall arrest systems should be inspected by worker/user, prior to every use. The user should also check all equipment before each use to be sure a formal inspection has been performed within the last six months.
Competent Person Inspection
All components of personal fall protection/fall arrest systems must be inspected by a competent person at intervals of no more than 18 months. Inspection reports must be recorded on a formal Inspection Log and filed for safe keeping.
We are all required to inspect our own height safety equipment before and after each use.
All items of equipment which are in regular use shall be subjected to periodic formal inspection (test and tagging) and where applicable, servicing in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and requirements of EN standard. Where an operator is not competent to carry out this inspection, the inspection shall be carried out by an operator who is competent or a height safety supervisor.
The inspection shall be carried out in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Some manufacturers’ will only warrant a system/product that has been inspected or repaired by an accredited installer/service agent.
12 monthly inspection
Fall arrest devices (type 1) Ropes & adjusters/fall arrest devices (linostop, positioning dvices)
12 monthly inspection
Harnesses Lanyards with shock absorbers Retractable webbing lanyards All ropes, finished & cut lengths Shock absorbers Webbing sling anchors, temporary static lines Work positioning lanyards
12 monthly inspection
Fall arrest devices (type 1) Ropes & adjusters/fall arrest devices (linostop, positioning dvices)
FALL DISTANCE & FALL FACTOR
When setting up fall arrest systems, fall factors and fall distance are critical factors to be considered. With the equipment set up to reduce the shock to the harness of less than 6kN a maximum fall factor of 1 is critical. The fall factor is the length of the fall, divided by the length of the lanyard.
• Required free distance below working level, for worker protected with energy absorber and 2m lanyard
• Diagram show free distance required below working surface, depending on location of the structural anchor point.
• For best safety, always anchor above the shoulder (Fall Factor 0) whenever possible.
• Worst case scenario, free distance below working surface must be 6.2m (see drawing below) for fall factor of 2. A fall actor of 2 is very dangerous and not recommended but may be only option in some circumstances.
CHOOSING THE BEST RESTRAINT TECHNIQUE
The best method of hazard control is eliminating the potential of a fall. Decide if the identified hazards are significant, how badly harmed would they be if they fell and how likely a fall could be?