UK serious about minimizing work at height
Could architects & designers collaborate in the U.S.?
The Access Industry Forum (AIF) has introduced a dedicated work at height information helpline for DIOHAS, the Designer’s Initiative on Health & Safety, whose members include professionals from the major architectural practices, other construction disciplines and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
Using the email helpline, DIOHAS members can now contact the Forum direct with any questions or queries relating to safe working at height. In response they will receive information and guidance from the relevant AIF member organization whose area of expertise best matches the enquiry.
The launch of the helpline coincides with the publication of BS 8560: 2012, the new ‘Code of practice for the design of buildings incorporating safe work at height’. The Forum was a major contributor to the development of the new standard, which encourages architects and designers to assess, as early as possible in the design process, the implications of work at height.
The standard seeks to minimize work at height over the lifetime of a building, but where work at height cannot be avoided, to take account of practical, efficient and cost-effective solutions for the safety of those who have to undertake ongoing work such as cleaning, maintenance and repairs.
According to the Forum, work at height issues should be considered and controlled at every stage of a project, and these latest initiatives will help provide a better understanding of the issues involved and how they can be planned and managed effectively from the outset of a project.
Paul Bussey of the RIBA comments: “Architects and designers often need advice or assistance with any design work that they undertake which has implications for both access and safety. Working with the Forum on both these initiatives has enabled our community to plug in to the work at height industry directly and ensure that we are as informed as possible about this important area.”
The DIOHAS helpline is the latest in a series of developments from the Forum which will host the Work at Height Safety Zone at Roofex, 1-2 May, at the NEC, and the AIF Knowledge Base at the Safety and Health Expo, 14-16 May, also at the NEC. For more information, please visit www.accessindustryforum.org.uk.
About the Access Industry Forum (AIF):
Liaising closely with trade and professional bodies, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and industry at large, the Access Industry Forum (AIF) provides a forum for all the principal trade associations and federations involved in work at height. Each organization represents a different facet of the work at height sector and is a recognized specialist and authority in its respective field. Committed to advancing safety and best practice, it advocates the need to work safely and competently at height using appropriate equipment with personnel formally trained to industry-recognized standards.
The Forum represents the work at height sector at conferences, seminars and exhibitions and regularly provides speakers and safety-related demonstrations at events nationwide. www.accessindustryforum.org.uk
1. ATLAS: Association of Technical Lightning & Access Specialists
2. BSiF: British Safety Industry Federation
3. EPF: Edge Protection Federation
4. FASET: Fall Arrest Safety Equipment Training
5. IPAF: International Powered Access Federation (IPAF)
6. IRATA International: Industrial Rope Access Trade Federation
7. LA: Ladder Association
8. PASMA: Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association
9. SAEMA: Specialist Access Engineering and Maintenance Association
10. WAHSA: Work at Height Safety Association
About DIOHAS (Designers’ Initiative on Health & Safety):
Representatives from major architectural practices, other construction disciplines and HSE meet every six weeks to develop and disseminate best practice in relation to construction health and safety, particularly with regard to the role of the designer under the CDM Regulations. DIOHAS welcomes input from all sectors of the construction industry.