Safe installation of modular offices
Temporary office accommodation is provided on most large construction projects. Modular offices are positioned by crane and installation usually involves people working from the roof of the upper module.
The installation of offices can present a risk of falling during work at height. On other projects, HSE has found that this hazard has not been given sufficient attention. The work has involved the use of ladders in a dangerous manner and/or reliance on ineffective fall arrest systems.
The principal contractor and specialist sub-contractor on one 2012 project developed a safer method of installing their modular offices. The aims were to:
- avoid use of fall arrest as primary protection
- allow operatives to move freely on the roof
- enable works to be carried out efficiently
- minimise installation time
This innovative method involved a framework lifted by crane onto the unit at ground level (photo 1). The system provided edge protection and enabled delivery and installation without the risk of people falling (photo 2).
Photo 1: Crane moving a modular unit
Photo 2: Safety framework in place preventing falls