Health and safety should be a priority for all tradesmen – but some trades need to put more effort into their health and safety training plan than others. If loft work or work in roof spaces is common in your trade, here are a few safety issues you need to consider.
When carrying out any loft project, it is important to carry out a risk assessment to identify any safety risks. Common risks associated with loft tasks can include, falls from a height, looking for any safety hazards, trips, and slips due to loose materials, any material you may be working with i.e. insulation, working in a confined space, or risks such as falling on old wooden boards and poor surfaces. It’s also important to consider the safety of any staff who will be working in the loft and assess the risks to ensure they understand the risks and work in a safe manner.
What to do?
If you’re working in lofts and roof spaces, you need to make sure that those involved are safe. If entry to a confined space can’t be avoided, it’s important to carry out a risk assessment to identify any risks to health. Look out for any safety hazards, loose materials, or hazardous materials and put the proper safety procedures in place to minimize accidents and injury. It’s also important to ensure that all staff involved in working in loft or roof space are well aware of the risk and results of the assessment. This will ensure they comply with the safe system of work identified. However, All of these dangers can cause serious harm, but the good news is, they can also be easily avoided with careful planning and the right equipment.
The first thing you should do to consider health and safety in the loft and roof spaces is to plan. In particular, if you are going to be working from elevated spaces and there is a risk of fall, which can have life-threatening consequences. To safety work at heights, make sure you have safe access solutions in place.
When working from an elevated space, there’s a risk of falls and injury. A fall from aloft and roof space could result in life-threatening injuries, so extra care must be taken. To ensure safe work at a height, make sure to use suitable access solutions, such as extension ladders and roof ladders.
Choosing the right ladder is just the start when it comes to access equipment for work in lofts and roof spaces. We also recommend the use of a safety rail when you’re working on projects in the loft. Within loft space, you may require additional equipment to carry out work. When picking this equipment, make sure you choose something safe and sturdy – such as one of our work platforms.
Most tradesmen understand the importance of using personal protective equipment (PPE) on any kind of job and working in the loft is no different when it comes to PPE. PPE is a must! To protect yourself, we advise wearing appropriate clothing and safety wear. What you wear will be dependent on what job you’re planning to do, so choose what’s best to wear for your loft task.
Sometimes it’s those little things like cables and poor lighting that lead to slips, trips, and falls. To maximise safety in confined spaces, we recommend a bit of housekeeping – to ensure your working area is as safe as it can be. Make sure it’s well lit and that all trip hazards are removed. This will only take you a few minutes but can save your life.
Always ensure your loft working space is safe and secure. Watch out for small things like cables laying around or bad lighting which can lead to trips, slips, and falls. While completing your loft project, ensure safety by keeping your loft working space clean and tidy. Remove any trip hazards and work within a well-lit environment. Also, when using any kind of hazardous materials, take required precautions.
As with any construction or building work, you’re likely to be dealing with hazardous materials. Fiberglass insulation is just one – and can cause both skin irritation and eye problems. Furthermore, fiberglass particles can cause havoc with your respiratory system – even causing cancer and lung problems. To minimise the risk of exposure, make sure you wear the correct PPE. Goggles, safety gloves, and a respiratory mask are a must. If you’re going to be exposed to asbestos, make sure you’re fully aware of the risk and protective measures.
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