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Topic: Location-based risk assessments

working in roof spaces
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Working in roof spaces

Working in roof spaces

Working in roof spaces presents particular risks to staff as it combines working at height with the restrictions of a confined area. Particular care should be taken when carrying out hot work in these spaces.

Risk of fall

If these risks are left unmanaged it may cause an accident and potentially put you on the wrong side of the law. 

To ensure that this doesn’t happen, you should complete a risk assessment for all such work, which identifies all “significant” hazards and appropriate “reasonable” ways of reducing risks to an acceptable level.

Managing the risks

To help you identify the hazards associated with roof space work and the appropriate ways of controlling them, use our example Risk Assessment - Working in Roof Spaces. It covers the generic hazards associated with this type of activity and suggests control measures to reduce risks to an acceptable level.

You should ensure that your document only addresses “significant” hazards, i.e. any that could and, more importantly, are likely to cause an accident or injury.

Note. You should also refer to our Risk Assessment - Working at Height that detail the risks and control measures that may affect the access to and egress from a roof space.

Make your instructions clear

Don’t include activities in your document that simply don’t need to be there. Work to the principle that if there is any chance of your staff being unaware of the safe way of doing something, then you will need to make it clear in your document. Finally, always ensure that any control measures you identify and follow only go so far “as is reasonably practicable”.  

Note. The list of potential hazards is not exhaustive. However, for your risk assessment to be considered suitable and sufficient in the eyes of the law it must accurately reflect the “significant” hazards found with your particular activity. 

 

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