Working at Height Regulations

Working at height falls are the single biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the main causes of major injury, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

We have outlined the key subjects from the Working at Height Regulations (WAHR) 2005 that will affect your business. Select a bullet point to view more information about each topics.

What is “working at height”?
A place is “at height” if a person could be injured from falling from it; unless the WAHR 2005 regulations are followed. The regulations apply even if it is at or below ground level.

’Working’ includes moving around the place of work (except by staircase). It does not apply to travelling between work.

Do the rules apply to you?
The regulations apply to all working at height where there is a risk of injury from a fall. These regulations place a duty of care on employers, self-employed, or anyone who controls the work of others; known as “dutyholders”.

What employers must do
Employers must do all that is reasonably practicable to prevent anyone from falling when working at height. Where working at height cannot be avoided, they must use work equipment and other measures to prevent falls. Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPS) or access platforms, such as cherry pickers and scissor lifts, are work equipment that satisfy this regulation.

The importance of proper training for MEWP operators
The Working at Height Regulations (WAHR) 2005 place a responsibility on duty holders to ensure that those involved in working at height are trained and competent. IPAF training courses are recognised throughout the industry as meeting these responsibilities. To find out more about training courses from the Kimberly Rentals Group Ltd, call 01202 786 700.

Which Powered Access Machine Should You Hire?

Working straight up and down or do you need to go up and over an obstruction?
If you don’t need to reach up and over an obstruction, you can choose between scissor lifts or cherry pickers. Cherry pickers (booms) have the greater manoeuvrability at height through their ability to rotate the position of the arm as well as the angle of ascent. Cherry pickers are the only choice if you need to go up and over an obstruction.

Carrying heavy loads up to working height?
Jobs that required carrying loads to height, such as cladding, needs the extra working load capacity of a scissor lift. Cherry pickers typically have a safe working load (SWL) of 230kg.

Need to move around the platform when working at height?
Scissor lifts typically have much wider platforms to give that freedom to move around at height. Many models have deck extensions for extra reach. Some machines, like the GR3384, have double deck extensions on either side of the platform.

Working outdoors or inside? Working outdoors? Go for the extra power of a diesel powered machine, ideal for covering rough terrain. Most diesel powered machines come with rough terrain tyres as standard and many machines, such as the G45, have four wheel drive capability (4WD) capability. Working indoors? You need to hire an electric powered machine because of the lower emissions and noise levels. You should choose machines with the non-marking tyres to avoid accidental damage to floor coverings.

Extra points to consider when hiring a cherry picker
Cherry pickers have extra options to give even more manoeuvrability, such as articulated or straight booms. Articulated booms (such as Z45-25 or HR15) have the extra knuckle in the arm to give greater flexibility to move around. Straight or stick booms, typically extend quicker because there is only one arm to move but don’t have the positioning options of an articulated boom. Booms, such as the Z45J, or H16PX, have an articulated jib, with an adjustable arm between platform and boom, gives more flexibility.

What working height do you need to reach?
We have a range of scissor lifts covering working heights from 4m to 28m. Our fleet of cherry pickers have working heights up to 43m. Finally, if you are working at low level, up to 10m, then use our light access machines –perfect for fitting out.

What regular checks should I carry out on my access machines?

Ten Point Regular Health and Safety Check List For Powered Access Machines

Use our ten point daily safety check list for the maintaining health and safety on cherry pickers and scissor lifts:

  1. Check that the operator’s safety and responsibilities manuals are complete, legible and stored in the container on the platform.
  2. Check the entire machine for: cracks in welds or structural components; dents or damage.
  3. Be sure all structural and other critical components are present and all associated fasteners and pins are in place and properly fastened.
  4. Check for leaks such as: battery fluids; hydraulic oils; engine oil and engine coolant (diesel powered machines only).
  5.  Check hydraulic fluid levels.
  6. Check tyre pressures on machines with air filled tyres and for any tyre damage.
  7. Scissor lifts – check side rails are installed; bolts fastened & chassis trays closed/latched.
  8. Check electrical components for damage and all batteries are properly connected.
  9. Check that the emergency lowering mechanism works.
  10. Check components for damage: hydraulics; limit switches; alarms and horns; platform entry chain and gate; controls; pothole guards and platform extension (scissor lifts).

Make sure to give the cherry picker or scissor lift an all round look over to check that compartment covers are in place and latched.