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Generally the installation of precast flooring and cast in situ concreting will require operative to work at height . This work will require careful planning following the hierarchy of controls to reduce the risk of working at height . The Work at Height Regulation 2005 , gives employers the following hierarchy to follow when planning work at height :
The following is taken from HSE Document: HSG 150:
Those in control of work must:
avoid work at height where they can
use work equipment to prevent falls where work at height cannot be avoided
where the risk of a fall cannot be eliminated, use work equipment to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall should one occur
always consider measures that protect all those at risk i.e. collective protection measures (scaffolds, nets, soft landing systems) before measures that only protect the individual i.e. personal protection measures (a harness)
ensure work is carried out only when weather conditions do not jeopardise the health and safety of the workers
Safe Access To Working Area
Safe of access to the working area also requires careful planning, particularly where work progresses during installation. Safe of access should be agreed with the Company Representative and positioned adjacent to the start point, where reasonably practicable.
Typical methods include:
â€¢ Independent scaffolds
â€¢ Suitably protected stairs and ramps
â€¢ Fixed or mobile scaffold towers
â€¢ Mobile access equipment
â€¢ Secured ladders
More detailed advice on the selection and use of access equipment is given in HSE guidance listed below:
â€¢ CIS No 10 Tower Scaffolds (rev. 4)
â€¢ HSE Information Sheet MISC 614 Preventing Falls From Boom Type Mobile Elevating Work Platforms.
â€¢ HSG 150 Health and Safety in Construction (pages 14 to 37)
Working At Height
The leading edge should be protected using the following hierarchy :
Passive and Collective System
Systems that do not rely on the installer to operate them and are in place prior to the first unit being installed. Passive and collective systems include nets, air bags, decking and many other systems. They minimise the distance and consequence of a fall should one occur.
Air Bag Fall Protection
Air bag systems comprise bags of varying sizes that are clipped together at the tops to effectively form a protection system. The air bags are connected by a system of hoses and connectors, which in turn are connected to an air pump. Prior to positioning the empty air bags the whole of the area must be cleared. The air bags are then arranged
to cover the desired area, connected together and inflated.
The Contractor should ensure openings in external walls, such as doors and windows, have been suitably protected e.g. by scaffold or timber, to prevent Operatives rolling off or falling through the void, should a fall occur.
Safety nets can be effectively employed to reduce the distance and consequence of falls. They offer passive collective measures by protecting everyone working within their boundary, without requiring those workers to act to be protected. They allow a broad range of activity to continue with minimum restriction.
Safety nets have high energy absorption capability, and therefore offer a 'soft landing' that minimises injury. They should always be fitted as close as possible to the underside of the working level. The Foreman must ensure a handover certificate
has been provided and must visually inspect the netting before allowing work to proceed above it. Should an Erector fall into the net, significant sagging could result. To avoid risk of injury the whole area beneath the nets must be kept clear ofmaterials and/or obstructions.
The self weight of the net and shock loading in the event of a fall should be considered in the design and implementation of the netting system.
Fall Arrest Systems
This does not prevent a fall, is not a collective protection measure and is therefore a personal protection measure and an active system.
This system consists of safety harness, lanyard and adequate anchorage point and aims to arrest a fall and minimise injury once a fall has occurred. Specialist advice and approval should be sought from the
supplier of the equipment on the provision and location of suitable anchorage points.
Practical measures to achieve this include running lines and lanyards attached to suitable anchorage points which may be incorporated into the slab.
In choosing a harness, care must be taken to ensure that it will give the user, as far as is compatible with safety, maximum comfort, freedom of movement and, in the event of a fall, every possible protection to the body from the shock of sudden arrest. Proper fittings and adjustment are essential to achieve these aims. The use of lanyards fitted with shock absorbers is recommended where the potential drop height permits the full lanyard deployment.
Supervision and training are needed to ensure that the system of work adopted is understood by all users and is maintained.
Personal Protective Equipment
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations (PPE Regs.) require the Employer to provide suitable PPE necessary for the protection of Operatives and Erectors engaged in the erection of precast concrete flooring.
The requirements for PPE also identified on the Safe Working Method Statement.
All Operatives and Erectors, irrespective of the nature of particular site conditions, must be provided with, and must wear, PPE to meet general needs, in particular safety footwear, high visibility clothing, abrasion resistant gloves, weatherproof clothing and suitable head protection. All PPE must be properly stored and maintained in accordance with manufacturers' recommendations.
Operatives and Erectors issued with such equipment have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to use and look after it. On certain sites, the conditions or method of working will necessitate the use of special protective clothing
and equipment. Certain items such as eye protection, respiratory protection, ear protection and safety harnesses should be carried by the erection team at all times and used as the need arises or should be made available to the erection team prior to the commencement of work. The use of specific protective equipment, e.g. safety harnesses, must be identified in the Method Statement.
In the event of an accident causing physical injury the first-aider will be called . Serious accidents will be reported to the client . If the accident is deemed serious enough by the first aider the emergency services will be summoned by telephone .
Control Of Substance Hazardous to Health (COSHH)
In order to comply COSHH Regulations , the company must ensure the collection and issue of up to date information on the potential hazards and toxicity of all materials and substances used by the company in carrying out its site activities , and the control measures to be adopted .
Material and substance include anything used or generated , e.g. ready mixed concrete , dust from cutting operation etc .
Training & Certification
MEWP Scissor & Boom Operation
Fork lift/tele-handler operation
Work at Height
The training of personal at all levers is to be carried out by competent person or approved training organisation ( CPCS/CITB/ Proskills . etc ) . Course may include those in the following list , which is not exhaustive :
Site Safety Awareness
Crane Supervisor (BS 7121)
Passive Fall Installation
Trained and competent Operatives should hold the following competency cards in accordance with the Construction Skills Competency Scheme (CSCS) and the Construction Plant Competency Scheme (CPCS):
CSCS Precast Concrete Installer (Industry Accreditation A) card
CPCS Slinger/Signaller card
According to Regulation 3(1) of the Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981 , it is recommended that each team has a suitably qualified person to administer emergency aid or a fully qualified First Aider.
The provision of welfare facilities on the majority of sites will be on a shared welfare basis, where the Contractor provides the necessary facilities which can be used by Operatives and Erectors .
When no formal welfare arrangements exist, the Company should ensure that the necessary facilities are provided by way of an attendance, based upon the PFF Standard Health, Safety and Welfare Attendances (Appendix A) issued at quotation stage, or alternatively, the Company may provide facilities for use by Operatives and Erectors.
The ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the facilities are provided, and that they are of a standard equal to that required by the CDM, remains with the Company
Safe Use of Cranes & Lifting Equipment
Safe Working Method Statement & Risk Assessment
Safe Working Method Statements form part of the overall Safety Management System, covering hazardous activities, such as the erection of precast flooring and associated components. They provide the information on the arrangements and, where required, the actual sequence of work
necessary to manage health and safety. Basic information must be provided and communicated to all concerned parties at the planning stage, thus allowing time for approval or modification of the Safe Working Method Statements prior to site erection.
Precast flooring erection is similar in nature on many sites and therefore a Safe Working Method Statement will contain common elements and activities. However, the Safe Working Method Statements must take account of specific site conditions/requirements, information from the Health and Safety Plan/Design Risk Assessment, and/or contractor's requirements.
The flooring sub-contractor will provide the Contractor with a copy of the PFF Health, Safety and Welfare Attendances (Appendix A), attached to the Company's quotation. These, together with any additional specific requirements necessitated by the nature of the site or contract works, are to be provided by the Contractor.
The Contractor is responsible for ensuring that guidance within this Code of Practice is incorporated into works by other trades and where necessary the guidance of the Building Designer and other specialist suppliers/sub-contractors is incorporated into the works.