Wind Systems for Health & Safety Monitoring


Working At Height

Working at height

The Health and Safety Executive in their health and safety in roof work paper make specific reference to wind and weather conditions stating that weather conditions should be considered when planning any work at height. Obviously wind, rain, ice or snow can have a direct impact on how secure a foot holding will be.

HSE advises maximum wind speed

1. You should anticipate adverse weather conditions and take suitable precautions. The Work at Height Regulations 2005 specifically require that weather conditions be considered when planning any work at height. Rain, ice or snow can turn a secure footing into a skating rink. A roof should always be inspected before work starts to see if conditions have changed and to check whether it is safe to work.

2. A sudden gust of wind can lead to loss of balance. Roof sheets and, in some circumstances, roofing membrane should not be fixed in windy weather as people can easily be thrown off-balance while carrying a sheet up to or on the roof, particularly when handling large sheeting materials during work on industrial buildings.

3. It is not only in industrial roofing that care must be taken in windy conditions. A slater or tiler cannot work safely in high winds and a roll of roofing membrane can become mobile if it is caught by the wind. On flat roofs, materials such as felts are equally affected and the effect of high wind upon hot bitumen when it is being poured can be extremely dangerous.

4. When deciding whether to continue or suspend work, consider:

• wind speed
• the measures that have already been taken to prevent falls from the roof
• the position and height of the roof and the size of the material being handled

5. A competent contractor should use a hand-held anemometer to measure wind speed if large sheets are being handled.

6. The Beaufort scale (Table 2) gives descriptions of how trees, smoke etc will behave at certain wind speeds.

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