Work at height takes place in a variety of work activities, including construction, maintenance, cleaning... Safe access, safe working platforms and suitable edge protection are normally required. This includes permanent edge protection and temporary scaffolding for certain types of work
- Scaffolds erected on or over the public highway or pedestrian walkway, require a permit. Application forms are available for download.
- Generally all scaffold which is erected on the island must comply with the relevant British Standard.
- This permit will be granted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) under the terms of the Public Highways Ordinance, 1967.
- Permits granted under the terms of the ordinance will often require specific safety features to ensure that the general public are not put at risk. This includes the erection, dismantling and the intended use of the scaffold. Application therefore, must be made in advance of the date anticipated for the building of the scaffold.
- Whilst the Ordinance predominantly covers scaffolds, other structures such as hoarding, suspended rails, cable wires etc., also require a permit.
- It is necessary to obtain the consent of the Traffic and Highways Services or (in the case of the Harbour areas of St Peter Port and St Sampson, of Guernsey Harbours ), before scaffolding is erected.
Ladders and stepladders are not banned under health and safety law
- In fact they can be a sensible and practical option for low-risk, short-duration tasks, although they may not automatically be your first choice.
- Make sure you use the right type of ladder and you know how to use it safely.
Leaning Ladders - Some advice when using a leaning ladder
- Maintain three points of contact when climbing (this means a hand and two feet) and wherever possible at the work position. However, where you cannot maintain a handhold, other than for a brief period (eg to hold a nail while starting to knock it in, starting a screw etc), you will need to take other measures to prevent a fall or reduce the consequences if one happened
- Make sure the ladder angle is at 75° - you should use the 1 in 4 rule (i.e 1 unit out for every 4 units up)
- You should secure the ladder (eg by tying the ladder to prevent it from slipping either outwards or sideways) and have a strong upper resting point, i.e do not rest a ladder against weak upper surfaces (eg glazing or plastic gutters). Securing devices are also available. Footing for stability should be a last resort.
Stepladders - Some advice when using a stepladder to carry out a task
- Check all four stepladder feet are in contact with the ground and the steps are level
- Don't stand and work on the top three steps (including a step forming the very top of the stepladder) unless there is a suitable handhold
- Ensure any locking devices are engaged
- Maintain three points of contact at the working position. This means two feet and one hand, or when both hands need to be free for a brief period, two feet and the body supported by the stepladder