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It Is Important to Assess the Risks When Tackling a High Level Job at Home and Work

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Post It Is Important to Assess the Risks When Tackling a High Level Job at Home and Work   Sat Aug 13, 2011 12:59 pm

Summertime is when the weather is generally good enough in the UK for any jobs that need doing to the outside of buildings can be done however, unexpected rain or wind make it advisable to make sure the work can be carried out safely whatever the conditions.

This should include looking closely at the job, the building and the equipment that might be needed and the Health and Safety Executive has a useful checklist of how to go about planning such jobs.

How many home owners intending to do the gutter clearing and soffit fixing themselves go through the sort of rigorous safety planning that would be likely to happen in a bigger organisation is debatable.

Among the useful HSE guidelines is a hierarchy of planning that may prevent the need to actually be at a height to carry out work such as high level cleaning.

To start with this includes looking at using tools specially adapted for use from the ground, such as long-handled window cleaning gadgets or vacuum cleaners. Another possible option is to look at whether the work can be carried out safely from inside the building.

If neither is a possibility, for example, when cleaning gutters replacing slipped tiles or repairing soffits the next step is to look at whether there is a safe place nearby from which to do the work so there is no risk of a fall from a height.

Can an existing building or structure be used that has a means of access and egress from which there is no risk of a fall occurring?

Plainly if none of these options is available, then a company or organisation would carry out a risk assessment and ensure the correct tools, safety measures such as harnesses, guiderails and properly fixed ladders are available as well as proper training of employees on any equipment to be used and on how to work safely.

The householder would also be advised to follow safety guidelines. Advice includes considering waiting until the weather improves if it's wet or windy.

It is preferable to lay ladders flat on the ground and extend them to the required height, then raise to their working position and to never climb higher than a ladder is designed to take you nor lean out or over-reach, either from a ladder or a platform. Never use boxes or bricks to gain extra height.

An additional precaution to be aware of when using metal ladders or towers is to ensure they will not be close to any power cables and finally to have someone on the ground to help or just generally keep an eye on things is always a good idea.

For a company or organisation considering high level cleaning it is perhaps easier and more cost effective to use a professional company to carry out the work. The householder might also consider using professional help if the budget allows, and thereby avoid putting themselves at risk.
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