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Don’t make heavy ‘weather’ of health & safety

The ‘weather bomb’ – or for the technically minded out there, a ‘cyclogenesis’ – has brought strong winds to a large part of the country.  Whilst many of the newspapers have got really overexcited about this, most people and premises have not suffered any ill effects.

However, as Winter takes a grip, the risk of property damage from wintry or windy weather should prompt you to consider what arrangements are in place to carry out routine property repairs or maintenance.  So, before your leaking roof causes too much of a problem, have you considered how repairs are going to be carried out and by whom?

All too often when minor repairs are required the temptation is to get a “guy from the pub” or “get John off the shop floor to repair it as he used to work for a roofing company” or ring a contractor up to attend pronto to sort it.  But what measures are in place to carry out the work safely?  Accidents whilst accessing or working on roofs have caused many fatalities over the years.  Falling from height and falling through a fragile roof can also cause major life changing injuries.

How can you take reasonable steps to make sure you comply with the law?

If you own or are in primary control of a commercial premises you may think you have no obligations to manage what contractors do on your site.  But this is wrong.  The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM) apply to all property maintenance tasks.  As the client you have a duty to ensure that any persons are competent and have the necessary expertise to carry out the work safely.  So it’s best to have a contractor on your books that you have already pre-assessed with evidence of competency, risk assessments and method statements as well as their insurance certificates.  You also need to monitor them to check they are working in accordance to their risk assessments, etc.

Simon Walsh HEADSHOTSo, should someone want to pitch their ladders on the top of their van to access your roof (yes, that really did happen then you have a duty to stop them.

If you need help on sorting out any contractor management woe’s please give us a call on (01302) 341344.

By Simon Walsh CMIOSH

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