Roof condition surveys are vital for assessing the current condition of a roof. However, there is currently a misconception that a roof condition survey does not need to comply with safe working practices.
HSE prosecutions due to working at height failures are common, and we are now seeing evidence of breaches of health and safety legislation where those surveying roofs do not appear to have implemented a safe system of work required under Work at Height (WAH) Regulations 2005.
Working at height presents risks of serious injury and loss of life. The failure to manage these risks is often rooted in the failure to properly plan the work and choose the most appropriate equipment. Regulation 4 of WAH requires that work at height is properly planned, appropriately supervised, and carried out in a safe manner, so far as is reasonably practicable. The safe working method should be in writing and the amount of detail included should reflect the complexity of the survey.
Gary Walpole, NFRC’s Safety, Health and Environmental Officer, provides a useful reminder as to why roof surveys do not fall outside the Working at Height Regulations.