Creating a Safe Existing Place for Work at Height

Working at height is always a risky undertaking and, as we’ve pointed out in the past, the hierarchy of control is a vital issue when it comes to planning work at height.  Using an existing safe place of work is a legal requirement when it comes to planning work at height and it’s up to the employer or duty holder to ensure that this safe place exists. 

Any business owner who has premises where roof access is required for regular maintenance work has a duty of care to employees and contractors to ensure that the place of work has been rendered safe – usually with the use of collective fall protection equipment such as demarcation barrier systems.  Collective fall protection equipment is always a better choice than personal fall protection equipment as it provides protection for all users of the work space, whereas personal equipment only protects the individual user at any time.  The work space should also feature safe access and egress – such as a fixed external stairway or step unit with a door leading onto the protected roof.

According to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Work at Height Regulations (WAHR 2005) any demarcation system used to prevent workers getting too close to the edge of the roof where they risk a fall should be installed at least 2 metres from the edge.  Demarcation barriers can be set up on a roof to provide a safe area, well away from the edges and nobody should go outside of this area, either during the work or when accessing the work area. 

A rooftop demarcation barrier system can usually be installed without any special training as a semi-permanent barrier to keep workers away from any potential fall hazards (such as the edge of the roof, skylights, fragile surfaces, etc.).  It’s a cost-effective solution and will usually be relatively maintenance free once it has been correctly sited and installed.  Here are the main benefits of opting for a rooftop demarcation barrier system:

·         It offers a high visibility demarcation solution for safe working areas or safe access on a flat roof.

·         It provides comprehensive work at height collective protection.

·         It can be quick and simple to install without the need for any specialised training.

When considering a rooftop demarcation barrier system, make sure that it is durable and relatively maintenance free and look for a compact design that will be easy to transport and store should the need arise in the future.

Here at D-marc we take safety seriously and we’re committed to providing our customers with the solutions necessary to ensure the safety of their workers and conform to legislation.  Providing a safe workplace and safe access to the workplace is the responsibility of the employer or duty holder and D-marc aims to enable all of our customers to fulfil their responsibilities towards their staff.