The Health and Safety Executive states that working at height remains one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries in the UK construction industry. In an attempt to prevent death and injury, HSE introduced The Work at Height Regulations 2005 along with a guide to help employees to comply with these regulations.
The guide highlights several steps that should be taken before proceeding with any work at height:
- AVOID work at height where possible
- PREVENT falls where avoidance is not possible – use existing safe place of work and/or correct equipment
- MINIMISE the distance and consequences of a fall, by using adequate fall arrest systems for example.
Taylor Lane has historically been very proactive in our approach towards introducing and developing RAMS (Risk Assessment Method Statements) that reduce the risks associated with working at height in timber frame construction. We look for ways in which we can not only comply with regulations but go further than this whenever possible.
Research and development in this area is something we have always put our time and energy towards and is what has led to us developing the Taylor Lane Top Hat Gantry Method, a method used when constructing roofs made up of ‘top hat’ trusses.
Top hat trusses are necessary when the trusses required for a build are too tall for standard manufacturing processes and/or transportation. The main body of the truss and its topmost point (the top hat) are produced separately, taken to site as two separate components, and then fitted in place. Whilst this solves the problem regarding manufacture and transportation, it does present potential H&S issues which result from the need to work at height and the associated provisions such as scaffold handrails.
For jobs such as these, whilst the correct equipment and fall arrest has always been employed, we felt that there must be a safer method, one that moved the procedure back up the hierarchy of control measures, from minimising fall distances to the prevention of the fall in the first place.
And there is… But rather than write a long and detailed breakdown of our method, we thought that seeing it in practice would be far more easily digestible, so we created The Taylor Lane Top Hat Gantry Walkway Method video – which we hope you find useful!
If you have any questions about the method or our RAMS, please do get in touch with our Contracts Team who will be more than happy to help.