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Safety Anchors on reducing liability

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Legislative requirements, placed on the controller of premises provide that as a controller one is responsible to identify hazards, assess risks and to eliminate or control those risks.

Have they adequately provided for their employees and contractors involved in roof maintenance, cleaning gutters, servicing air conditioners or any other type of work involving heights?

To reduce the liability, Safety Anchors it is necessary that as a premises controller all necessary stepes are taken to ensure their respective premises are safe and without risk to health.

This includes the need to evaluate, review and identify any actions or steps that may be necessary to control an injury and the likely severity of a fall from Heights.

The Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001, provides that a controller of a premises must ensure that safe access is provided to all parts of a place of work to which a person may require access and from which a person may fall.

It also provides that walkways be provided and maintained over roofs that have brittle or fragile roofing material.

Training is an often neglected area, failure to provide the necessary management of OH&S, including the reporting of potential hazards and the ability to recognise and act upon control measures often leads to unsafe work practices.

Employers have an obligation under the NSW Occupational Health and Safety Act 2001 to provide the necessary information instruction and training to ensure their employees health.

This information, instruction and training must be commensurate with the risk involved. The act also provides for reasonable supervision and that the supervision is undertaken by a competent person.

Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001, contains a general requirement for employers to ensure the welfare at work of their employees.

This also covers that contractors and that other people are not exposed to risk while at the premises.

With this in mind it is prudent to have an assessment conducted of one’s premises. Are there risks for access or for areas involving heights?

In order to keep premises and workers safe controllers should procure the services of a Height Safety consultant to provide an assessment of the premises, with a view to formulating a thorough identification of potential Height Safety and access related hazards, and a corresponding solution for each hazard.

Once the Hazards have been identified, the employer or controller of a premises should seek to eliminate the risks or if not reasonably practicable to do so, to control the risks.

It is important that once identified, access is denied to potential risk areas, until corrective action has been undertaken. When providing Safe Access Systems for roofs and high places for one’s clients or contractors/employees, a premises controller needs to ask the following questions of their Height Safety consultant includes:

  • competency level of the system designer
  • functions of the system and to explain how the system works and its limitations
  • if the certification can be given now and into the future for both standards and local authorities i.e. work cover/work safe.
  • Ask for product testing results. Does the provider specify the minimum structural requirements for attachment?
  • Ask what load will be applied to the structure, and then have an engineer assess the situation
  • Ask if the system will allow for safe access to the system and exactly what coverage the system will allow i.e. the whole roof or just to plant etc.

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