ORGANISATIONS WHO ARE INVOLVED WITH
WORK AT HEIGHT

If you are involved with work at height in any way, perhaps with the specification, selection, use, inspection or maintenance of fall protection measures, we can offer impartial advice and assistance covering a huge range of related topics. As a fully independent consultancy, we are not under the influence of commercial pressure such as the need to sell products. We have a unique knowledge and expertise which has been shaped by design, research and testing experience over a period of nearly 30 years, and from which a large spectrum of industries and organisations have benefited.

Risk Assessment

 

Safety Squared can carry out and assist organisations with working at height risk assessments in accordance with the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations. Safety Squared utilises its specialist knowledge, a significant part of which has been gained through research projects – (see research), writing of standards and occupational experience to help organisations meet their legal obligations in a methodical, practical and cost-effective way, commensurate with the best level of safety for the user.

Examples have included:

• risk assessing the Merlin helicopter, (potential anchor point positions, walkways, climbing steps and aircraft ladder)
• assessing access routes to aerials on mobile phone masts
• assessing ships’ tank ladders and fall protection arrangements in offshore oil storage vessels

 

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Rules and Regulations

 

We can assist organisations with the interpretation, application and implementation of requirements in legislation, as applicable to working at height, (e.g. the Work at Height Regulations). This assistance also extends to other regulatory documents such as: Codes of Practice, Official Guidance and Standards. Where necessary, we can seek clarification for clients by approaching our contacts within the HSE. Also as members of the Height Safety Group of BSIF and of various BSI standards-writing groups we are always at the forefront of fall protection evolution and ideas, as well as having access to technical opinion and historical knowledge.

 

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Specifying and selecting safety measures

 

It can be very difficult for organisations wishing to introduce safety measures such as fall protection PPE or systems, guard rails, access systems etc, to differentiate one system from another, and to know what system is best to employ in their specific circumstances and how effective it will be.

CE marking, although a legal requirement, may be an insufficient basis to select equipment for the specific application in question. BS 8437, (British Standard for selection, use and maintenance of personal fall protection systems and equipment for use in the workplace), states that:

“It is essential not to use CE marking as the sole criterion for purchasing equipment. It is often thought that the CE mark means that the equipment will be suitable for the particular task for which it is being purchased. This is not necessarily the case, as the testing specified in the relevant European standard is often limited to checking the most important parameters in laboratory conditions and therefore might not cover the specific circumstances of use”.

Using its specialist knowledge, Safety Squared can assist clients to differentiate between different types of systems and equipment to ensure that the most appropriate solution is obtained for the application.

Safety Squared can also assist in the process of obtaining information from suppliers, and can review and advise on the performance of systems as recorded in suppliers’ test reports.

If standards-related performance is inadequate for the application concerned, we can design and arrange extra testing as required.

 

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Incident and Accident Investigation

 

Where an incident or accident occurs, investigation can determine the cause(s) in order to prevent such an occurrence arising again in the future. We can provide the following services, or assist where necessary:

• Determining the causes of fall accidents and evaluation of fall-protective measures where they were being used
• Recreation of accident circumstances using tools such as anthropomorphic test dummies and high speed video to record events
• Expert witness work

 

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Bespoke Solutions

 

We often find that off-the-shelf solutions are not available. In these situations we can design and test bespoke solutions for clients and advise on installation.

An example of this is the increasing need for reliable anchors to perform rope-access from. Often these anchors are not available as products that can be readily purchased and even if they were, the probability is that they would not be compatible with the localised structure within a building.

We are able to design, fabricate and test anchor systems to BS 8610 that will be compatible with localised structure within a building, whether these are to be installed in a new build or retrospectively.

We also work in conjunction with rope access technicians, to ensure that anchors are installed in positions that will facilitate good access and safety, rather than detract from it. (We often receive telephone calls from organisations who find out, alas too late, that their new anchor points have been installed in the wrong positions).

 

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Review of existing safety measures

 

Safety Squared can assist in situations where doubt has arisen over the ability of proposed or existing safety measures to perform as expected.

We can conduct on-site inspections and provide expert opinion in cases of dispute.

 

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