Working in a loft space counts as Working at Height according to the Working at Height Safety Directive, especially if there is a stairwell below, with a large distance to fall.
Whatever motivates you to access your attic, it’s a place where accidents can easily happen: getting up there, getting back down, and going about your business.
It is so easy to have the illusion that the ceiling in a loft is solid and safe to walk on, this can cause overconfidence and accidents.
As technology changes, new systems are developed to help run businesses more efficiently, this increases the need for safety legislation changes and for businesses and organisations to comply with these new changes. A loft space is an ideal location to install pretty much anything a building could need to function and be out of the way. It’s no longer just for pipes and cables. So today business owners are increasingly finding the need to send maintenance staff in to loft spaces to gain access to this equipment, such as:
- Cold water storage tanks
- Hot water cylinders
- Shower pumps
- Extraction fans
- Ventilation units
- Smoke detectors
- Security alarm systems
- Power & Data cables
- TV / Satellite systems and audio speakers
- Solar PV inverters
- Solar hot water and the list goes on.
Furthermore, loft spaces are also an ideal location for rodent species and this puts pest controllers at risk if a safe working area is not provided during their visit.
With this increased demand for loft area maintenance access it is required that employers must provide a safe accessible working area for maintenance staff to use to allow them to do their job in accordance with Health and Safety legislation and the Working at Height Safety Directive.
As with all jobs that carry danger, risk assessments are key. Employers and managers are required to assess associated risks with working in a loft and developing a safe system of work, while employees should also assist with assessing risks. This all ties in with the Work at Height Regulations 2005, which require employers to ensure that work at height is properly planned, supervised, and carried out in a safe manner. Once risks have been identified and safe working solutions are put in place, it’s important that all employees comply with the system of work identified.
To help prevent an accidental injury, here at Oxford Safety we designed and created an insulated trellis platform for roof spaces. The all composite design prevents electrocution as well as falls. For more information on our 240 GRP mats, or any other queries, email us at [email protected].