Archive | Opinion

Who selects harness and lanyard combinations ?

In my experience, most harness and lanyard combinations (PFPE) for use by operatives on building sites are selected by people who know little about them, and who will never wear them. This produces some “interesting” purchase decisions ….  Frequently the purchase is supported by a salesperson .. who may have divided loyalty. The result is […]

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What does Fall Restraint mean ?

What does “Fall Restraint” mean ?   Is it an “oxymoron” ?           Restraint, means that the worker cannot get into a position from which they can fall. They are Prevented from falling. They are operating within the third level of the Work at Height hierarchy, Personal Fall Prevention. Fall .. means […]

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CDM 2015

CDM 2015 is almost upon us. Some are still voicing concern that the content might still change, however I think that the principles are now established and the progress is inevitable. The key change is to bring the Principal Designer to the fore and to give them responsibility for co-ordination of the many and varied […]

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Fall through fines

When I first became involved in work at height, the greatest single cause of death was falling through a fragile roof or roof-light. That was almost 40 years ago. Today the same is true, which is  …..  Absolutely Outrageous. Last week, Preston Crown Court handed out sentences of £200,000 and £45,000 for fatal fragile surface […]

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I love it when a plan comes together … avoid.

This Christmas there were two events which warmed my heart, and made me confident that we were making progress in the work at height sector. The first was the announcement of the “selfie stick” being the most popular Christmas present. I have frequently said that the solution to many work at height problems was a stick. […]

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Counterfeit Competence

A North London gang have recently been handed down custodial sentences for their part in a massive competence card fraud ring. Their crimes related to many types of card, but are understood to include a significant number of construction industry competence cards. More can be learnt from the PP Construction safety website. This reinforces my suggestion that […]

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Poor Edge Protection is common

The most common mistake in the installation of temporary edge protection, is installing on the secondary false-work beam, when running in line with the protected edge. Nothing is holding this secondary beam to the structure, and a failure of the edge protection and the beam is an accident waiting to happen. I have at last […]

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Avoid with a vacuum

The best practice principle of avoiding work at height, is well demonstrated by the SpaceVac gutter cleaning equipment. There is a wireless video camera mounted on the head with a screen at eye level, and a reach of 14m. It is not a unique product or concept, but it clearly demonstrates the opportunities and benefits of […]

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