Edge protection not only ensures your employees have a line of defence should they stumble near a roof edge; it can also prevent untethered equipment from falling on to passers-by below.
In a recent case reported by the Health and Safety Executive, a woman waiting for a bus on York Road, London, was severely injured when an air handling unit fell on her from a neighbouring building site.
The machinery was able to fall as it was being raised on a mast climber – rather than traditional scaffolding being used to secure the perimeter of the site.
“”A high-risk activity such as using a crane to lift this sort of load on the site should have been fully risk-assessed during the planning stages of the project,”” says HSE inspector Bose Ogunsekan.
The HSE suggests that certain safety measures should have been taken to avoid putting the public at risk – from relocating the nearby bus stop, to signposting pedestrians along an alternative route.
However, edge protection on the crane and on the rooftop of the site could have further ensured that no heavy items were able to fall into the surrounding area.
Without these safeguards in place, Waltham Cross-based building company Concentra Ltd was found to be in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, leading to a £20,000 fine and £21,000 in costs.