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Work at height

Façade access e.g. for building maintenance and cleaning is a high risk activity in the City of London and usually forms a significant part of our health and safety work programme throughout the year.

These webpages have been developed to help dutyholders effectively manage work at height activities and associated risk of falls and as part of a toolkit to help promote, support and improve safety standards in the work at height industry. 

Here you will find a series of audit forms, guidance and links to further resources for work at height safety.

The City of London is keen to raise awareness of sensible measures that businesses can take to ensure the risks are properly managed. We work closely with dutyholders to improve safety standards in the Square Mile. Our Work at Height Campaign has been running since 2014 and has included a wide range of interventions such as proactive inspections and advice as well as training workshops and informative videos​. We are currently working on early intervention at the planning application stage for large developments so as to ensure that risks are designed out or reduced to as low as reasonably practicable.

Tender Specifications

We have developed an online form for use by those involved in developing or procuring work at height contracts. This could involve, for example, a tender specification for internal and external façade cleaning for an office building. There may be several areas within the building to consider as well as the competency of those carrying out the work. This form will help guide you through some of the things you will need to consider as part of the tender process.

We would encourage consultation between all those involved in the development and issuing of tenders. Where procurement teams do not have specialist health and safety expertise, they should consult with in-house health and safety teams or external specialists for advice.

Reviewing Risk Assessments / Method Statements

​Work at height must be safely managed. An essential part of this will be to ensure that suitable risk assessments and method statements have been provided for the work. If you are responsible for managing work at height contracts - either as a window cleaning manager, facilities manager, safety consultant or similar then we are developing a guide to effectively assess the paperwork typically supplied by contractors.

If you would like to be part of the pilot review, please let us know by emailing the Public Protection team.

In the meantime, please take the time to view our Rope Access - Risk Assessments and Method Statements video on the subject.

Contractor Competency

​If you employ contractors at your site, you have a responsibility to make sure they are competent for the work.

As the client you will need to demonstrate you have suitably assessed competency and should gather evidence to indicate that this has been done. The degree of evidence required to satisfy the client should depend on the nature of the work and the size of the workforce.

We are developing a tool that will help you to assess core criteria based on those set out within the Approved Code of Practice to the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015.

In the meantime, please take the time to view our Rope Access - Assessing Contractor Competency video on the subject.

Monitoring

​Even where the works is outsourced to specialist contractors, clients will have a duty to monitor the work. The level of monitoring will need to be proportionate to the risks involved although, where the risk of a serious incident is foreseeable it is likely that checking contractor works at least annually is appropriate to satisfy yourself that work is being undertaken in the manner agreed.

We are developing a form that will help you consider some of the key aspects to check in relation to contractor work.


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