There are many things as an equipment owner that you are responsible for. The highest priority responsibility is to ensure that the people using and the workers maintaining the equipment are safe in this environment.
You must have a valid Thorough Examination Report carried out periodically (depending on local regulations) and it is best practice to ensure the equipment meets the relevant codes and standards.
D2E recommend that you keep the necessary documentation relating to your equipment on site.
We have a variety of guides aimed at the owners of lifts, escalators and facade access equipment. Please contact us for a copy.
Local Authority guidance recommends the periodic thorough examinations should normally be conducted on a six-monthly basis or at a suitable period as directed by the competent person.
If your Thorough Examination Inspection falls out of date then an inspection should be arranged as soon as possible. D2E recommend that the equipment is isolated until a competant person carries out a Thorough Examination Inspection on the equipment.
BMU’s can be designed to hoist ancillary loads i.e. cladding panels for glazing replacement, but not all are. Nominally these will be 600 - 1000kg depending on configuration. Please ensure you check your Operation and Maintenance Manuals before proceeding.
Requires the hierarchy of control to be applied, this requires the design team to remove risks. Where this is not possible those risks should be reduced as far as possible, residual risks must be communicated and controlled. PPE i.e. Fall Arrest in any form including Abseiling is not collective and relies on the action of an individual, and is considered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This is the last level or resort if all other measures cannot be accommodated by the design. It is the duty of the designer to reduce foreseeable risks for cleaning and maintenance. It should also be noted that it is the responsibility of the owner to reduce the risk to all persons in his employ, being direct or subcontract and that they will be involved should an accident occur.
Based on numerous discussions and written confirmation, it is the view of the HSE that, if a collective protection system (BMU, MEWP, Gantry, Cradle, Davit) can be accommodate by the building design it should be adopted ahead of Rope Access. Assuming Rope Access is the preferred scheme, if an accident was to occur in the future the HSE will refer back to the hierarchy of control and ask why a collective system was not designed in. The building owner must understand their responsibility and know that prosecution could be a likely outcome in the event of an accident. See P9 of attached document which lists ‘cost cutting at the expense of safety’ as an offence.
Industrial Rope Access Trade Association (IRATA)
If the building owner is willing to accept the risk and instruct a Rope Access strategy it is essential that IRATA guidelines are followed. Since the introduction of IRATA, Rope Access accidents are very uncommon. If designed and managed correctly a building can be safely accessed via trained and experienced abseilers.
Fall Restraint must be given priority over Fall Arrest.
The main difference between arrest and restraint is an “arrest” occurs after a person freefalls through space. In other words, the system stops a worker's fall that has already occurred, preventing impact at a lower level. This can cause suspension trauma which can be fatal. In a fall restraint system, however, the worker is restrained from reaching a fall hazard.