Working at Height Regulations and ISO45001 – what can Downpatrick Head teach us?
The tourists, including me, were all straining for the best photo. Just how close can, or should, we get to this, the scariest edge I’ve been at for a while?
A sheer and incredibly high cliff, with only a tiny, warning sign. And nothing else. But the views…
Spectacular. And maybe in effect it was the fear that kept us far enough away in the end?
But where would this set up fall (excuse the pun) in terms of the Working at Height (WAH) Regulations? How would you deal with the Hazard and Risk Assessment? What would you do to satisfy clause 6.1.2 of ISO45001?
All of these should really be considered by thinking of the WAH hierarchy. The first step in this hierarchy – or the first thing that you need to do - is to consider whether the work at height is required at all? In our case, was our photo really needed? Would library photos not serve the purpose just as well?
If it is needed, you need to stay (or work) away from the edge if you can. For us as a minimum, therefore, a telephoto lens is what we ought to have had to get our great photos – whatever would have kept us away from that edge. To be fair, most modern phones do a fantastic job.
The next step is to put something up to prevent our fall – a barrier or rail of some sort. There wasn’t a barrier in sight. And before you ask, the only thing to cushion any fall was, I presume, the sea – or rocks on the coast. [To be fair I didn’t go close enough to see. Lol]
So on to signage, and the tiny sign was it.
Nowadays since falls from height are one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries at work that we have, if this was in a work environment it would be illegal. And proper order too.
However, it isn’t, and I wouldn’t change seeing it just as it is for anything. :)
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