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Guidance Notes

WAHSA has produced a series of Technical Guidance notes to assist specifiers, managers and end users of fall protection equipment.

The WAHSA Technical Guidance Notes are a free resource, provided and maintained by WAHSA and its member companies for reference.

Please use this section of our website as a library and refer to them online whenever you need.

We recommend that you avoid downloading or printing them to ensure you always access the most up to date information.

  • Technical guidance notes

    • TGN01 (formerly TGN02)
      GUIDANCE ON THE SELECTION, USE, MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION OF RETRACTABLE TYPE FALL ARRESTERS

      This guidance note gives guidance on the selection, use, maintenance and inspection of retractable type fall arresters for work at height. These products are commonly known as ‘fall arrest blocks’ in Europe and ‘self retracting lifelines’ (SRLs) in North America. Another term often used is ‘inertia reels’.
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      TGN02 (formerly TGN04)
      GUIDANCE ON THE USE OF SINGLE AND TWIN ENERGY ABSORBING LANYARDS

      This guidance note gives guidance on the selection, use, maintenance and inspection of energy absorbing lanyards for work at height. Fatalities have occurred in the UK and elsewhere owing to the failure of energy absorbing lanyards. As is the case with most accidents, the failures could be attributable to a failure of the product, a failure of the user to use the product correctly, or a combination of both.
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      TGN03 (formerly TGN06)
      GUIDANCE ON INSPECTING EYEBOLTS FOR PERSONAL FALL PROTECTION

      This guidance note gives guidance on carrying out periodic examinations on Class A1 Anchor Devices in accordance with BS EN 795: 2012 and by the recommendations of BS 7883: 2005. It offers general advice about the types of issues which should be considered but does not give detailed guidance on specific procedures or indicate whether individual methods might be preferable.
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      TGN04 (formerly TGN08)
      GUIDANCE ON THE SELECTION, USE, MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION OF ANCHOR DEVICES

      This guidance note gives guidance on the selection, use, maintenance and inspection of anchor devices for work at height that meet the requirement for PPE to be subjected to a prescribed assessment procedure and CE marked as contained in the Council Directive 89/686/EEC (The Personal Protective Equipment Directive) which was enacted in UK law by The Personal Protective Equipment Regulations (the PPE regulations).
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      TGN05 (formerly TGN09)
      GUIDANCE ON THE SELECTION, USE, MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION OF CONNECTORS

      This guidance note gives guidance on the selection, use, maintenance and inspection of connectors for work at height. These products are commonly known as karabiners or snaphooks.
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      TGN06 (formerly TGN10)
      GUIDANCE ON THE USE AND INSPECTION OF MOBILE MAN ANCHORS TO BS EN 795 CLASS E

      This leaflet is designed to give guidance on deadweight anchors certified to BS EN 795 Class E:2012 and in accordance with the recommendations of BS 7883: 2005.
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      TGN07
      GUIDANCE ON THE SUITABILITY OF ABSEIL RAILS. DESIGN, SELECTION, USE, MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION

      This guidance note gives advice on the design, selection, use, maintenance and inspection of abseil rails for use with abseiling/rope access techniques. These rails are designed to provide an unquestionably reliable anchor to allow abseil access from a structure.
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      TGN08
      GUIDANCE ON CONNECTOR SAFETY

      An industrial near miss occurred in which a double action snap hook disconnected from the safety system. The gate locking mechanism was depressed against the users body, allowing the main gate to open and release the rope.
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  • Practical guidance notes

    • PGN01 (formerly TGN01)
      CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE USE OF PERSONAL FALL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT

      This information sheet gives very brief guidance on points to consider when selecting and using personal fall protection equipment such as anchor devices, harnesses and lanyards.
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      PGN02 (formerly TGN03)
      GUIDANCE ON INSPECTING PERSONAL FALL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT

      This guidance note gives guidance on the interpretation of Regulation 12 of the Work at Height Regulations, 2005 (WAHR) which sets out duties for the inspection of work equipment.
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      PGN03 (formerly TGN05)
      GUIDANCE ON RESCUE DURING WORK AT HEIGHT

      This guidance note gives guidance on the interpretation of Regulation 12 of the Work at Height Regulations, 2005 (WAHR) which sets out duties for the inspection of work equipment.
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      PGN04 (formerly TGN11)
      GUIDANCE ON BASIC CASUALTY HANDLING

      This guidance note gives guidance to those personnel who may find themselves the senior person (Manager) at a location following an incident resulting in a medical emergency. It is intended to give some basic understanding of the systems and the competence required to control the situation in the best way following an injury to a person. This technical guidance note does not give sufficient detail to be used in any way as a replacement for a medical qualification and should only be used a reference document.
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      PGN05 (formerly TGN12)
      GUIDANCE ON THE RISKS OF WORKING IN CONFINED SPACES

      This guidance note give guidance on the dangers and risk consideration, regulations, training, selection of equipment and required procedures related to working or accessing a confined space.
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      PGN06
      GUIDANCE ON CE MARKING

      This guidance note gives guidance to users and specifiers on why some equipment is CE Marked whilst other equipment is not.
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      PGN07
      GUIDANCE ON USING AND SPECIFYING TOOL LANYARDS FOR WORK AT HEIGHT ACTIVITIES

      This guidance note gives guidance to users and specifiers in the selection and use of tool lanyards for work at height activities.
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      PGN08
      GUIDANCE ON PERSONAL FALL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT AND USER BODY MASS

      This guidance note gives guidance to users and specifiers in the selection and use of FPFE when taking user body mass into consideration.
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  • Reference guidance notes

    • RGN 1
      REFERENCE INFORMATION FOR WORK AT HEIGHT – REGULATIONS

      This information sheet is a reference guide to sources of information relating to work at height and rescue in a wide range of industries.
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      RGN 2
      REFERENCE INFORMATION FOR WORK AT HEIGHT – HSE RESOURCES

      This information sheet is a reference guide to sources of information relating to work at height and rescue in a wide range of industries.
      > Download

      RGN 3
      REFERENCE INFORMATION FOR WORK AT HEIGHT – EUROPEAN AND BRITISH STANDARDS

      This information sheet is a reference guide to sources of information relating to work at height and rescue in a wide range of industries.
      > Download

      RGN 4
      REFERENCE INFORMATION FOR WORK AT HEIGHT – EUROPEAN DIRECTIVES AND GUIDANCE

      This information sheet is a reference guide to sources of information relating to work at height and rescue in a wide range of industries.
      > Download

      RGN 5
      REFERENCE INFORMATION FOR WORK AT HEIGHT – INDUSTRY GUIDANCE

      This information sheet is a reference guide to sources of information relating to work at height and rescue in a wide range of industries.
      > Download

ask-our-members

Why join WAHSA

WAHSA was established in 2005 and is the authoritative voice of, and source of information from, the work at height PPE and systems industry.

It currently has a number of high profile members such as Abtech, Capital Safety, Checkmate, ISC, Latchways, P&P, Safesite, Spanset, Tractel, Transweb etc.

WAHSA currently runs three main committees which members have the ability to participate in – Technical (reviewing legislation and producing industry best practice and guidance), Training (producing industry best practice guidance on training and influencing training standards within other spheres – more details below), and the main Members Committee steering the direction WAHSA takes.

By Members contributing to the committees, they can influence what industry expects and does with regard to work at height. There are several projects underway such as reviewing the existing and producing new Technical Guidance Notes and producing a training scheme.

In 2011 WAHSA joined the growing ranks of associations in The Access Industry Forum (AIF – see http://www.accessindustryforum.org.uk/members.htm ). As a member of AIF we sit with organisations such as IPAF, PASMA, FASET etc to work together on common aims to promote safe working at height.

AIF (and therefore WAHSA) also links with other industry bodies such as the APS (Association of Project Safety ) , UK Contractors Group and Crossrail.

Additionally, WAHSA has seats on PH5 and through this has access to all European Working Groups. Reports of all developments of CE standards are presented at the general meetings and circulated to the membership allowing them advance knowledge what is taking place throughout Europe.

WAHSA links with the HSE and is seen as their primary source of information for Work at Height PPE. This is done directly with HSE representatives attending WAHSA meetings, and through the AIF in a similar manner.

Direct benefits include a unique Members Insurance Scheme at very advantageous rates which are only available to WAHSA Members, and a cut price credit checking and debt chasing facility through Top Service UK.

All Members have a listing on the WAHSA Website and are able to use the WAHSA logo on their website and paperwork.

We are looking to expand these benefits in the next year, and any suggestions would be appreciated.

ACWAHT Syllabus

WAHSA commends users of height safety equipment to refer to the ACWAHT Work At Height Awareness Syllabus to help ensure you meet your Work At Height Regulation obligations.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE

ACWAHT AWARENESS SYLLABUS

The Background to ACWAHT and BS 8454

 

Introduction

Those who work at height should never forget that gravity is no respecter of persons. It affects everyone; too many times with disastrous consequences resulting in serious, permanent injuries or death (1). According to figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) (2), in 2010/11 38 workers died (171 total) and nearly 4,327 suffered a ‘major’ injury (25,827 total) as a result of a fall from height. All industry sectors are exposed to the risks presented by this hazard, although the level of incidence varies considerably.

As part of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (3) that came into effect on 6 April 2005, those involved in work at height must be competent (or, if being trained, supervised by a competent person) (4). In addition, every person shall report any activity or defect relating to work at height that he knows is likely to endanger the safety of himself or another person (5).

Height safety training, in common with all other training, is dependent upon the quality of the training provider, the syllabus to be delivered and the way in which it is delivered. It is recommended, therefore, that delivery of any syllabus be carried out in accordance with a recognised standard; for the use of a syllabus on its own will not necessarily guarantee the quality of the training that a trainee receives. For work at height the benchmark standard is considered to be BS 8454, Code of Practice for delivery of training for work at a height (6).

 

Advisory Committee on Work at Height Training (ACWAHT)

ACWAHT (now dormant) was established in 2003 by the HSE’s Construction Corporate Topic Group (Construction Division Technology Unit, CDTU) (7), as a project under HSE’s Falls from Height Priority Programme. The committee comprised representatives from the main organizations and trade associations involved in delivering work at height training (8), including WAHSA, IPAF, IRATA, FASET and PASMA. Its purpose was to act as an umbrella organisation in agreeing common work at height training needs, anticipated to meet the then forthcoming Work at Height Regulations 2005.

The committee’s remit was:
“To collect and evaluate data and provide guidance on training to achieve the competence required by law for all those involved with work at height”.

Its aims included:
• To discuss and formulate a common standard for delivery of work at height training;
• To discuss and agree the core technical knowledge and competence to meet the Work at Height Regulations.

These were met through the following objectives:
• The publication of a training standard agreed and acceptable for use by all training associations providing training for work at height (and to get this accepted as a British Standard);
• To develop and publish a core syllabus which is recognised by HSE as meeting the basic competence requirement of the Work at Height Regulations (and to seek adoption of any recommendations into the constituent member association’s own training programmes and by other training providers).

 

Training Standard

The committee looked at different forms of training in various industry sectors, ranging from the prison service to the fire service, as well as mobile access towers and arboriculture. Each constituent member submitted the basis of its course(s) and these were analysed in order to arrive at a common standard for training. This was set out in a guidance document for the delivery of work at height training. It included the full range of stages in the delivery of a typical training course, from course design, bookings, the training itself through to certification.

 

Syllabus

The concept for the syllabus was borne initially out the desire to establish what every worker should know about work at height activity to keep them safe, until they had been fully trained in any particular aspect. It is not a substitute for detailed training to undertake a task, but provides basic information on safe working practice for work at height; and it is recommended that this be covered in training courses.

The Work at height awareness syllabus – covering the basic knowledge (education) required by any worker – was published subsequently, in April 2006. A copy can be downloaded freely from the ACWAHT website (9).

The Health and Safety Executive welcomed the syllabus and considered it an important document in supporting the effective management of work at height; being an example of partnership working between HSE and Industry.

The delivery of the syllabus can be undertaken in one of a number of ways:
(a) As a ‘Foundation Course’ (and a pre-requirement of existing specialised courses);
(b) In full, within existing specialised courses; or
(c) In part, within existing specialised courses (using the generic information relevant to all industries together with the industry-specific information relevant to the industry delivering the course).

The syllabus itself does not have third-party accreditation, so course providers need to be very clear in any course literature, or claims, about the parts of the syllabus being delivered.

 

BS 8454

Following representation to BSI’s Technical Committee, PH/5, Industrial safety belts and harnesses (10) ACWAHT’s draft training standard was accepted as a work item for a new British Standard.

A BSI Project Group was established in November 2004, comprising members of PH/5 and ACWAHT. The Convenor was Mr K Jones, of NARC. A final draft was considered by ACWAHT, in April 2005, before being submitted to PH/5 for approval to release it as a ‘Draft for Public Comment’ (DPC). The DPC (11) was published by BSI on 2 December 2005. The closing date for comments was 28 February 2006 (extended to 17 March 2006). The Standard was published subsequently in May 2006, as BS 8454: 2006, Code of practice for delivery of training and education for work at height and rescue.

It covers the main stages in the delivery of a topical training course, including:

Course design
o Learning objectives are defined

Course enquiries
o Scope of training and pre-requisites are advised
o Course prospectus provided

Course bookings
o Registration form completed
o Joining instructions sent
o Training and assessment checklist(s) drawn up

Arrival of trainees
o Medical disclaimers checked

Course commences
o Trainers qualified and up-to-date
o All documents current
o Risk assessment completed for training area(s)
o Equipment appropriate and checked
o Course delivered in accordance with documents
o Pre-use check of equipment

During training
o Rescue procedure(s) identified and appropriate equipment available

Assessment
o Criteria for knowledge are defined
o Assessment undertaken, as defined
o Records kept

Course debrief
o Discussion of assessment with trainees, in particular safety-critical mistakes
o Feedback form completed

Course completion
o Equipment properly stored

Certification
o Documentary evidence issued
o Records kept

Auditing
o Audit undertaken and actioned
o Feedback forms reviewed
o Review meetings held
o Measures taken to implement continual improvement

David Thomas, 24.4.17

(1) – BS 8437: 2005

(2) – HSE Statistics – www.hse.gov.uk/statistics (Provisional figures)

(3) – SI 735/2005 – www.legislation.gov.uk 

(4) – Regulation 5

(5) – Regulation 14

(6) – British Standards Institution – www://shop.bsigroup.com

(7) – Initially under the leadership of Martin Holden and subsequently, upon his retirement, David Thomas (both HM Principal Specialist Inspectors of Health and Safety (Construction))

(8) – See the link below

(9) – http://www.acwaht.org.uk/ACWAHT_Awareness_Syllabus_-_Revision_A-18-04-06.pdf

(10) – Now Personal Fall Protection

(11) – BS 8454, Delivery for training for work at height, Ref. DPC 05/30117509 DC

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE

ACWAHT AWARENESS SYLLABUS