Trade body publishes new guidance on working at height

SAEMA, the Specialist Access Engineering & Maintenance Association which focuses on raising standards in the façade access industry, has published a new guidance document. Using permanently installed suspended access equipment covers everything from the responsibilities of the duty holder through to safe use and statutory record keeping.

Many modern buildings such as shopping malls and office blocks have large and inaccessible areas that require routine cleaning and maintenance. Access to these areas is increasingly provided by trolleys, platforms and gantries which are permanently installed to provide a safe and productive place of work for maintenance personnel.

The new guidance document – one of five now available on the SAEMA website – stipulates that all in-service activities concerning suspended access equipment should be carried out in compliance with BS 6037. According to SAEMA, failure to comply with this code of practice could render duty holders liable to prosecution.

In addition to referring the reader to the relevant standards and regulations, the document also covers the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), rigging platforms, dealing with breakdowns and malfunctions, and what procedures need to be followed upon completion of the installation.

Comments SAEMA secretary, Trevor Fennell: “It’s essential that these projects are carried out to the highest standards in accordance with the latest official criteria. This new document is intended to ensure that these criteria are understood and met in full so that operatives stay safe. There can be no room for complacency when they are suspended hundreds of metres above the ground.”

Other guidance documents available from SAEMA, a member of the Access Industry Forum (AIF), cover lone working, the use of existing building maintenance systems as anchorage points for rope access, emergency cradle rescue planning and system loadings.

More information: From Tony Seddon on 07854 226251