Safety Week 2020 – Thursday 22nd October

Safety Week 2020

19th – 23rd October 2020

Use #CIFSafety20 to share your companies activities

< BACK TO SAFETY WEEK

Thursday, 22nd October

Working Safely at Height

Working at Height continues to be the greatest causal factor for fatalities and serious injury in construction. Many falls occur at relatively low heights, for example, 2 or 3 metres above ground level. According to latest figures for fatal workplace injuries for Nace Code F: Construction year to date, there have been 11 occurrences, of which the falls from height accounted for 5 lives lost.

The CIF is calling for all those engaged in construction activity to undertake risk assessments for work at height activities and to make sure the work is adequately planned and organised to avoid, or at least reduce risks as low as reasonably practicable.

According to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), working at height is defined as: “work in any place, including a place at, above or below ground level, where a person could be injured if they fell from that place. Access and egress to a place of work can also be work at height”.

The key messaging from the HSA to ensure safe working at height is as follows:

  • Carry out risk assessments for work at height activities and make sure that all work is planned, organised, and carried out by a competent person.
  • Follow the ‘General Principles of Prevention’ for managing risks from work at height, taking steps to avoid, prevent or reduce risks.
  • Chose appropriate work equipment and prioritise collective measures to prevent falls (such as guard rails and working platforms) before other measures which may only reduce the distance and consequences of a fall (such as nets or airbags) or may only provide fall-arrest through personal protection equipment.

The HSA affords access to a wealth of information on its webpage: https://www.hsa.ie/eng/Topics/Work_at_Height/

The Code of Practice for Access and Working Scaffolds

This Code of Practice came into effect on 1st January 2019 and is intended to provide practical guidance to scaffold erectors, contractors and users of scaffolding on the requirements and prohibitions set out in the relevant statutory provisions. Some key changes from the outgoing 2009 version include:

  1. All scaffolding requires a design: This requirement includes allowance for proprietary system scaffolding manufacturer’s designs to be used for standard configurations (and other standard designs, such as TG20), to be used as appropriate).
  2. Consider Scaffold Design & Co-ordinate with Designers: An increased emphasis on the requirement to identify if a bespoke design scaffold is necessary at the earliest possible stage of a project and for the Project Supervisor Design Process to co-ordinate this temporary works design with the permanent works designer.
  3. Consider Scaffold Design & Co-ordinate with Designers: An increased emphasis on the requirement to identify if a bespoke design scaffold is necessary at the earliest possible stage of a project and for the Project Supervisor Design Process to co-ordinate this temporary works design with the permanent works designer.
  4. Select Collective Protection Measures: Further requirements for prioritising collective protection measures for scaffolders while erecting, modifying, and dismantling scaffolding. The use of leading guard rails and scaffold step systems is introduced and the removal of the previous allowance for scaffolders to work off partially boarded decks.
  5. Loading Bays: The removal of allowance for a non-scaffolder to remove handrails under certain circumstances such as when loading materials, and the emphasis on providing appropriate gate systems at loading bays that maintain edge protection to workers during loading operations.
  6. Precautions when Erecting, Modifying & Dismantling Scaffolding: Further requirements for prioritising collective protection measures for scaffolders while erecting, modifying, and dismantling scaffolding. The use of leading guard rails and scaffold step systems is introduced and the removal of the previous allowance for scaffolders to work off partially boarded decks.
  7. Provision of Stairway Access: The requirement that stairway access should be provided where it is reasonably practicable to do so, particularly where there is a high usage rate and/or where materials or tools need to be carried frequently by hand.
  8. Hot Works: The requirement for using flame retardant sheeting material for sheeting scaffold that will have hot works carried out in or near it, or that is erected near the public.
  9. Protection from High Winds: Requirements to ensure all decking boards are adequately secured and emphasis on the risks of displacement of boards due to high winds.
  10. Reduction in Maximum Gap: Reduction of maximum gap between scaffold deck and the structure from 300mm to 225mm.
  11. Storage & Inspection of Scaffold Boards: Requirements for the inspection of decking boards for defects and for the correct storing of timber boards when not in use.
  12. Training of Persons Inspecting Scaffolding.
  13. Updates from Legislation & Standards: Technical updates with regards to references to current legislation and standards.
  14. Amended GA3 Form: Provision of new template GA3 form for scaffolds incorporating ‘in-use’ checklist.
  15. New Illustrations: Some illustrations were removed and replaced in the latest Code of Practice to reflect recent changes.

 

Examples of Scaffolding Manufacturer’s Design

To coincide with Construction Safety Week last year, Height for Hire kindly outlined best practice when working at height, particularly when using working at height equipment such as MEWPs.

https://youtu.be/i0vm1CpGf9o

In their roles as a sponsor of Construction Safety Week 2020, Designer Group has kindly shared a toolbox talk on working at height, which is available in the downloads section.

Useful Downloads

Designer Group – Working at Height TBT
21st October 2020
Outset Support
14.72 MB

Live CIF Webinars

11am on Thursday, 22nd October

‘Ladder Safety’ – with Hugh Grennan, MDAL Safety Solutions Ltd.

Registration link: Click here to Register

Video Links

About Safety Week

Construction Safety Week is an initiative of the Construction Safety Partnership Advisory Committee (CSPAC). This is a grouping of all the main stakeholders in the construction sector in Ireland – Employers, Unions, State Bodies ( in conjunction with the Health & Safety Authority ) and Professional Bodies.

Our collective objective is to continue to highlight the issues of health and safety in the Irish construction industry and to drive continual improvement.

Good health and safety depend on co-operation between all parties on a project – from client to designers and contractors – everyone’s safety depends on their co-workers or the person working beside you or above you.

The mission for this week is to re-focus on health and safety and it’s a call to action for companies of all sizes to run a safety event this week.

 

View Schedule Our Partners View Videos