The HSE in Northern Ireland (HSENI) have launched a new campaign targeted at falls from height in the construction industry.
Of the five fatal construction related accidents reported in Northern Ireland since January 2020, HSENI report that three of these involved falling on the inside of a building under construction.
Where possible the need to work at height should be avoided, where it can be avoided then action should be taken to prevent falls from occurring. Where falls can’t be prevented then you should look to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall, giving preference to collective fall protection measures over personal ones.
HSENI are reminding those responsible for construction safety that internal fall prevention measures must be in place when carrying out any of the following activities:
•Stripping, dismantling and refurbishing roofs
•Installing joists or roof trusses
•Dismantling or installing roof sheets and side paneling on commercial buildings
•Fixing battens or tile supports and roof tiles
•Installing concrete floor slabs or stairs
•Working near or over fragile surfaces
•Working adjacent to voids in the roof and floor
Some examples of internal fall protection measures include:
•Proprietary decking systems
•Safety trellis (extendable aluminium trellis)
•Boarding out the inside of the roof using timber
•Safety nets – so long as there is adequate clearance below and anchorage points which have been assessed by a competent person prior to the nets being installed
•Inserting air bags/bean bags as soft landing systems
•Harnesses which should be the last option considered and only used by workers who have been trained in their use
Further information about internal fall protection can be found on the HSENI website at: https://www.hseni.gov.uk/articles/internal-fall-protection and a campaign video at: https://www.youtube.com/user/HSENIvideo
Please speak to your normal PIB Risk management contact or get in touch using email@example.com if you have any questions about managing safety during construction work or would like assistance with developing suitable policies and procedures.