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Selecting the right access equipment

All access equipment should be used by a competent person in its erection/use/dismantling or operation. If you're still being trained, you should be supervised by someone who is competent to use the access equipment and carry out the task.

Avoid working on fragile roofs

All roof work is dangerous. Roof workers account for 24% of all those who are killed in a fall from height - the biggest category of worker by far.

Any fall from a roof will at the very least involve a serious injury. The risks are substantial, however long or short the work. Many have been killed who only meant to be on the roof for a few minutes 'to have a quick look' or to carry out a small repair.

If you intend to work on a roof you need the appropriate knowledge, skills and experience to work safely, or you need to be under the supervision of someone who is competent.

Protection against falls is required whenever anyone works on or near fragile materials. A fragile material is one that does not safely support the weight of a person and any load they are carrying. Suitable protection will normally include a combination of coverings, guard rails, safety nets and safety harnesses. For further information on roof work see INDG 284 [PDF].

For further information on roof work see INDG284 [PDF] and refer to the Advisory Committee for Roof work website.

Rope Access techniques

Rope access techniques are a specialist area where you need formal training before it becomes an option. For more information contact Industrial Rope Access Trade Association International (IRATA)

Do not use your equipment in dangerous weather conditions

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 specifically state that work should not be carried out if weather conditions could endanger the health and safety of workers.

Work at height should not be carried out in unsuitable weather conditions (e.g. when it is windy, raining heavily or icy) which present a risk for the equipment used and the task.

Always check the surface conditions

Always check that the surface conditions on which your access equipment will stand is level, firm, stable and as appropriate, clean and dry.

Here are some Work at height examples

The WAIT Tool

WAIT toolkit