HSENI has prepared the following advice for workplaces, including farms, in relation to any work after a storm. It is essential that all clean up and repair works are appropriately assessed and carried out safely.
The main hazards are falls from height along with unstable structures and falling objects. Employers need to assess the risk from the effect of storm conditions on their work activities, identify the hazards and take necessary precautions.
The following areas require specific attention after the storm:
- extreme care must be taken when working with wind fallen / damaged trees, they may be unstable with the risk of crushing for people involved in cutting and removing them;
- avoid all work at height whilst high winds continue, do not consider going on any roof or near exposed edges, winds in excess of 23mph (Force 5) will affect a person’s balance and increase the chance of falls;
- places with a risk of falling objects or collapse of structures, partially built structures, etc;
- access onto fragile roofs (corrugated iron, asbestos, PVC skylights etc.) damaged during the storm should only be undertaken with appropriate equipment to prevent falls through the roof;
- if electrical power lines have been blown down or if there are any exposed electrical conductors, these must not be approached and NIE should be contacted on 03457 643643;
- scaffolding needs to be inspected by a competent person before being brought back into use;
- cranes should be inspected for damage prior to being brought back into service in accordance with the manufacturer’s manual;
- excavations and partially completed structures should be inspected for strength and stability; and
- all clean up and repair works should be suitably assessed and carried out by competent persons.
While it is not possible to detail every work-related activity requiring attention as a result of storm damage, it is essential that employers should take account of the storm and the impact it may have had on work activities and take appropriate precautions.
For further information please see contact us on the HSENI helpline 0800 0320 121.
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