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WORKING AT HEIGHTS


FEATURE SPONSOR


WORKING AT HEIGHT SAFELY & EFFICIENTLY


• “It’ll never happen to me” • “I’ve done it dozens of times before” • “I’ll be OK” • “I’ll just nip up and do it, no need to go to the stores for safety kit”


COMPLACENCY


Complacency is undoubtedly one of the principle dangers of working at height. Every year the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) produces ‘Safety and Environment Statistics for IMCA Members’ as a useful insight into the performance of a company and industry sector. They cover fatalities, injuries and environmental indicators supplied by contractor members (many of whom are increasingly involved with the offshore renewables sectors).


These act as an invaluable record of performance each year and enable IMCA members to benchmark their performances.


The highest number of LTIs was caused by being struck by moving/falling objects (23%); falls on the same level (including slips and trips) accounted for 20% of LTIs; ‘struck against’ for 13%; and falls from height 10%.


LOWERING THE POTENTIAL DANGERS Aware that falls from height (which can not only cover going up to fall down, but falling down things like stairwells, hatches etc) continue to rate highly. IMCA has over the years produced items to help lower the potential for injury or death by producing a ‘Working at Height’ safety DVD (largely with the offshore oil and gas industry in mind, but just as relevant to the offshore wind industry) and viewable online; a safety poster and useful pocket safety cards to act as constant reminders of the dangers.


2013 SURVEY A record number of companies took part in the 2013 survey, based on over 1,300 million man-hours of work on and offshore (statistics were provided by companies and organisations representing around 67% of the contractor membership).


Encouragingly we have seen lost time injury


frequency rates (LTIFR) drop to the lowest figure since we began collecting data. However, there is still room for improvement in our constant quest for the ‘holy grail’ of zero incidents.


LOST TIME INCIDENTS (LTIS)


The main injury/incident figures continue to ‘flatline’ or improve only slowly. There were fewer fatalities in 2013 than in 2012; but LTIs remain broadly constant.


18 www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


POCKET CARDS – SIMPLE 'DOS AND DON’TS'… • Always conduct a risk assessment and obtain a permit to work before starting


• Ensure there is adequate rescue provision in place


• Do not work at height alone or when you are tired – work with a partner and take adequate breaks


• Don’t over-reach • Ensure you are attached securely to a sufficiently strong anchorage point all of the time when you are working at height


• Always use tool bags and /or tie-off tools to prevent dropped objects


• Ensure the area below the work is properly cordoned off so you cannot work above people


• Keep an eye on weather (and sea conditions)


• Remain aware of potential hazards and especially of simultaneous operations


Jane Bugler


Technical Director International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA)


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