Guardrails are one of the first ports of call when installing collective edge protection for work at height, according to Health & Safety Executive guidance.
The HSE is currently overhauling its guidance on working at height, which affects some 10 million people who carry out work at some kind of elevation each year.
Regulations are being slashed as part of the government’s Red Tape Challenge, which has already earmarked 3,000 items of burdensome legislation to be removed from law, in order to make it easier for companies to do business without punitive levels of admin work.
However, some of the broad guidelines remain – such as the suggestion that edge protection should be ‘collective’ rather than individual.
Collective edge protection for work at height includes anything that protects everyone, without needing each person to have their own equipment.
Guardrails that are fixed in place are a good example of this, whereas man anchors – although useful for securing individuals during work – must be supplied one per person, and are therefore not a collective measure.
By focusing on collective measures, as well as minimising the amount of work that is actually carried out at height, businesses can remain on the right side of the current regulations, and avoid enforcement action at the same time.