A designer or building owner must ensure the safety of a worker, if the need to work at height cannot be avoided, as detailed under Regulation 9 of CDM2015.
‘Avoid work at height wherever possible!’
This is a well-known Health and Safety protocol, where working at height is required, we are all responsible for minimising the risks. When roof access cannot be avoided, a collective method of fall protection should firstly be considered, all current guidance calls for ‘work restraint’ systems as the best option. SFS design to restraint by default. A system can only be deemed restraint where there is no possibility of a fall.
The safest method should be prioritised without the prejudice of a cost saving. Arrest systems should only be considered as a last resort.
No risk of a fall.
A typical restraint system is set 2.3m back from the roof edge or potential fall hazard. The user’s path is dictated.
No need for a rescue plan, minimal PPE and user training required.
A system can only be deemed restraint where there is no possibility of a fall.
Potential for a fall
A fall arrest system requires more input from a design point of view, this should always be backed up with published calculations applicable to the roof substrate type & potential loads in the event of a fall. Other factors such as building height and fall clearances require due consideration from all fall hazards including through rooflights.
This type of system requires specialist PPE, user training and a rescue plan to be in place.