WAH means, unavoidable work completed in a place where precautions must be taken to avoid injury. If you are working above ground floor level, are in danger of falling from an edge or through an opening or fragile surface, your employer becomes liable to correspond with the WAHR act, 2005.
Falls from height were the most common cause of fatalities, accounting for nearly three in ten (29%) fatal injuries to workers in 2014. (RIDDOR 2013). The introduction of acts such as PUWER and LOLER, 1998, have ensured it is the responsibility of the employer to guarantee suitable, safe equipment is provided whilst completing tasks. To work in accordance with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations Act 1998 (PUWER) all participants, including ground crew, must comply with the following regulations
- The equipment must be fit for use and maintained regularly (UDL).
- Adequate training must be provided.
- Equipment must be accompanied by suitable protective devices in accordance with specific requirements e.g. Mobile work equipment.
- Weight distribution and working limits must be in accordance with SWL regulations. This includes accessories and equipment, accounted for when calculating final SWL. (LOLER)
- Any faults to access equipment must be reported immediately.
Access equipment such as Mobile Scaff towers, Telescopic ladders and Mewps are commonly used for rigging lighting equipment to a fly system for performances. Ground floor crew must be appointed to complete tasks in coherence with anyone working at height.
It is vitally important to ensure cages are secure and ladders are locked into position before climbing, this will prevent over reaching and injury when transferring lighting. Lifting accessories attach the load to the lifting equipment to provide a stronger, safer bind between the two for example fibre/rope swings, chains and hooks.
Image, AMATA, studio A. Correct use of ladders and ground floor crew.