Why does fall protection equipment need to be maintained?
Fall protection equipment is generally installed as part of a planned preventive maintenance (PPM) regime, to provide workers safe access whilst carrying out work at height. In this blog we focus on the legal requirements of duty holders to have such items maintained along with the hidden issues if regular maintenance does not take place.
What does inspection and maintenance mean?
A certified technician will carry out a comprehensive inspection and physical test (where applicable) on each component to ensure it is safe and meets legislative requirements. Any personal protective equipment (PPE) used in conjunction with this piece of apparatus would also be inspected to ensure fit for purpose. Each piece of equipment is tagged to advise on its condition, if successfully passed and the date of when the next inspection is due.
Eurosafe Solutions employs their own technicians who have the knowledge and skills to complete the inspection competently. Our teams would take time to speak with you about your needs and requirements for working at height to ensure that the equipment installed fulfils your needs.
Ultimately once our technicians have attended site, you will have peace of mind that every item has been inspected to current regulations and British standards.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA) lays down wide-ranging duties on employers. In brief, employers must protect the ‘health, safety and welfare’ at work of all their employees, as well as others on their premises.
The main regulation which covers the inspection of fall protection equipment is the Work At Height Regulations 2005. Point 12 states that: Every employer shall ensure that, where the safety of work equipment depends on how it is installed or assembled, it is not used after installation or assembly in any position unless it has been inspected in that position.
- Every employer shall ensure that work equipment exposed to conditions causing deterioration which is liable to result in dangerous situations is inspected—
- At suitable intervals; and
- Each time that exceptional circumstances which are liable to jeopardise the safety of the work equipment have occurred, to ensure that health and safety conditions are maintained and that any deterioration can be detected and remedied in good time.
Such legislation and regulations are also enforced by subsequent British Standards and manufacturers guidelines to ensure is safe for use.
Reduce your liability
As previously mentions such equipment has been installed to provide safe access for maintenance tasks and therefore reduce risk back to the duty holder. Should an incident occur and maintenance records not be in place, you can be held liable.
Failure to have your fall protection equipment regularly maintained can also invalidate any warranties on this equipment. Subsequent warranties for such items as roofs, gutters and air handling units could also be invalidated if the fall protection equipment is not maintained due to no safe access provided and therefore the service not being able to be carried out.
This could also have repercussions on your insurance
How can we help?
We understand that managing a property portfolio can be challenging and that it is often hard to track when each task needs to be carried out. Eurosafe Solutions can help support you by providing our test and inspection service. Our in-house software ensures that no inspection due date is ever missed. Our team of account managers are proactive in their approach and will contact you around 3 months prior to due date to ensure a date and time can be planned at a time convenient with both parties.
In addition to inspection & maintenance, we can also provide a Roof Assessment & Evaluation service. This is designed to improve overall working at height safety on our client’s buildings in a view to keeping all persons accessing these areas safe. A report is produced identifying assets installed and categorises the roof area in to zones, (using a “RAG system”). It also identifies if area/assets installed are safe to access, PPE required to travel the system and if any additional steps could be taken to improve safety and reduce risk.
We continually review your account to see if any improvements or cost saving can be achieved.
- There is both a legal and moral responsibility to ensure that equipment is maintained.
- Annual maintenance ensures that the equipment installed follows the manufacturers guidelines and therefore warranties remain valid.
- Avoids costly downtime by avoiding aborted visits by third party parties needing to use such equipment
- Regular maintenance reduces risk and liability to the duty holder.
- You create an environment in which your employees or subcontractors can work safely.