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kevinjohnsonmbe

Background to the HSE decision on two rope working

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55 minutes ago, Ian C said:

All this will achieve is to divide an even more divided industry, what we really need is higher skilled climbers and better time scales in the utility sector not more knee jerk reactions that will have a massive affect on those firms that try and do things properly!

If our industry is to adopt irata style qualifications then our industry needs to be regulated as is the building industry where we are seen as a professional skilled work force. 

The sector we work in is not seen as a necessity as with a majority of other rope access work.

This has a reflection on the money we can charge to the domestic customer along with commercial. 

If we are taken seriously and have a board that represents our skills and professional approach to safe working practices this may benefit us all..

I think that's a long way off. As well as the pay grade that should go with the extra hoops... 

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If our industry is to adopt irata style qualifications then our industry needs to be regulated as is the building industry where we are seen as a professional skilled work force. 
The sector we work in is not seen as a necessity as with a majority of other rope access work.
This has a reflection on the money we can charge to the domestic customer along with commercial. 
If we are taken seriously and have a board that represents our skills and professional approach to safe working practices this may benefit us all..
I think that's a long way off. As well as the pay grade that should go with the extra hoops... 


It’s hard enough trying to win jobs at the ‘going rate + vat’ as it is in the domestic sector.
Seems to me that the only winners in this will be the firms that are willing to cut corners.
Compliant firms will find it much harder to operate and compete with increased costs and slower productivity.

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13 minutes ago, TIMON said:

 


It’s hard enough trying to win jobs at the ‘going rate + vat’ as it is in the domestic sector.
Seems to me that the only winners in this will be the firms that are willing to cut corners.
Compliant firms will find it much harder to operate and compete with increased costs and slower productivity.
 

 

Yes. I agree. Unfortunately I don't think the HSE will see this as a viable argument. 

I'm no authoritie on how the building/rope access industry managed to work with ever increasing stipulations. But they did.. A brick layer can command £200+ per day so I'm told... go figure..

As I said until we are recognised as professional by some sort of governing body we are trapped. 

If I'm wrong I'm wrong. Just speaking from what I see year to year. I'm just a lowly freelance climbing arb and have no idea on how business is run so feel free to shoot me down.

The way we all operate atm (professional companys) accredited or not is and have been progressing fast in the field of heath and safety imo..

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Yes. I agree. Unfortunately I don't think the HSE will see this as a viable argument. 

I'm no authoritie on how the building/rope access industry managed to work with ever increasing stipulations. But they did.. A brick layer can command £200+ per day so I'm told... go figure..

As I said until we are recognised as professional by some sort of governing body we are trapped. 

If I'm wrong I'm wrong. Just speaking from what I see year to year. I'm just a lowly freelance climbing arb and have no idea on how business is run so feel free to shoot me down.

The way we all operate atm (professional companys) accredited or not is and have been progressing fast in the field of heath and safety imo..

 

Also agree with this. It’s a lose/lose situation.

I think it would be very hard for an employer to defend a prosecution in court if the HSE could prove that an extra rope would have prevented a fall. The time constraint/ reasonably practicable argument would struggle to hold water in the event of a serious injury prosecution.

Like you say, until the industry, especially the domestic sector catches up it looks like we are are in for a tough time ahead.

 

However, if the HSE and AA were to re-visit this and conduct some further research/demos in order to gain a truer picture and a more realistic insight into the real life day to day work of everyday climbers.......from all sectors of the industry.

(As opposed to the masterclass of excellence, demos by world class climbers in park trees kind of thing that you see at the ARB shows)

Then, maybe the HSE would see the many downsides to the new proposals and give some serious consideration as to how introducing more, effort, stress, complication, difficulty, additional hazards and the inevitable added pressure to get the ‘job done quicker’ would actually have the opposite effect of what they are trying to achieve.

Hopefully, a more nuanced approach could be taken that would see some genuine H&S benefits to the industry.

 

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, TIMON said:

 

Also agree with this. It’s a lose/lose situation.

I think it would be very hard for an employer to defend a prosecution in court if the HSE could prove that an extra rope would have prevented a fall. The time constraint/ reasonably practicable argument would struggle to hold water in the event of a serious injury prosecution.

Like you say, until the industry, especially the domestic sector catches up it looks like we are are in for a tough time ahead.

 

However, if the HSE and AA were to re-visit this and conduct some further research/demos in order to gain a truer picture and a more realistic insight into the real life day to day work of everyday climbers.......from all sectors of the industry.

(As opposed to the masterclass of excellence, demos by world class climbers in park trees kind of thing that you see at the ARB shows)

Then, maybe the HSE would see the many downsides to the new proposals and give some serious consideration as to how introducing more, effort, stress, complication, difficulty, additional hazards and the inevitable added pressure to get the ‘job done quicker’ would actually have the opposite effect of what they are trying to achieve.

Hopefully, a more nuanced approach could be taken that would see some genuine H&S benefits to the industry.

 

 

 

 

 

Top anchor TIP on SRWP system utilizing a redununt base anchor as Chamski pointed out on the other thread, that will act as a back up in the case of anchor point failure. 

This will obviously have it's draw backs and need managing at risk assessment level. However I do see it as an alternative to two ropes independent in the tree in some situations. 

In the scenario of your main anchor line being cut then I wonder if a system where a sort of short line like a lanyard could be installed on the climbing line a few meters above the SRWP set up. This could possibly be a type of metal flipline. 

It would follow the climber on and need tending as with a second line, this could be a achieved with a long teather sort of like the lockjack.

Obviously their are complications with this but possibly a viable alternative to two separate rope systems?

Still though I would like to know the situations in which rope severing has lead to injury or death and the use of a second line would have prevented this. Was it kick back, poor work position, impact from falling or lowered material. 

At the end of it all I think better education and mentorship time will ultimately make for a safer working environment.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Konstantly
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Not sure about the secondary flip line style you considered but I agree 100% on the last point.

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20 minutes ago, Rich Rule said:

Not sure about the secondary flip line style you considered but I agree 100% on the last point.

Dam sure I don't agree with the lanyard style thing. Just trying to see if their are alternatives to a two line system. As this I believe to be a poor solution given the structures we work on

As TIMON points out arguments in a court of law are hard to justify.. 

We all said before we will all say it again.. training, education and time..

Edited by Konstantly
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I think any argument based on extra difficulty / cost is going to fall flat since 'what price do you put on a life?' This is why I have only seriously considered specific operations where 2 rope working is going to be more dangerous than a single line.

 

There is however an accepted term: 'where reasonably practicable to do so' so if the extra effort of something out weighs the safety benefit then you are allowed to consider a more practical alternative. An example of this is: under the current WAH regs WAH should be avoided if possible. This means that a MEWP is preferable to climbing. So the justification needs to be made as to why a MEWP is not being used. This is where "reasonably practicable" comes in. If the additional time / effort / cost of the MEWP is beyond what is considered reasonably practicable then you may not use it. This has to be justified in the RA though. 

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9 minutes ago, Tom D said:

I think any argument based on extra difficulty / cost is going to fall flat since 'what price do you put on a life?' This is why I have only seriously considered specific operations where 2 rope working is going to be more dangerous than a single line.

 

There is however an accepted term: 'where reasonably practicable to do so' so if the extra effort of something out weighs the safety benefit then you are allowed to consider a more practical alternative. An example of this is: under the current WAH regs WAH should be avoided if possible. This means that a MEWP is preferable to climbing. So the justification needs to be made as to why a MEWP is not being used. This is where "reasonably practicable" comes in. If the additional time / effort / cost of the MEWP is beyond what is considered reasonably practicable then you may not use it. This has to be justified in the RA though. 

Herein lies a part of the problem though Tom.

 

As you rightly say, MEWP has become the (AA sponsored) default preferred option over climbing.  I don't agree that this should be the case and I suspect this is a classic example of rules for the blind obedience of fools.

 

I suspect, as we start to see the MEWP as the preferred method slowly building a more frequent usage, we will also start to see an increase in the accident rate associated with poor choice or operation of the MEWP - there was that case recently where they used a MEWP because it had been written into the policy as the 'preferred' option, but then failed to set it up properly resulting in a death which would not have happened had they climbed.

 

I'm not in any way anti-MEWP quite the contrary (I'm in the market) in the right circumstance.  I am however, anti-make a policy which could result in unforeseen adverse consequences.

 

Just 1 minor point about 'reasonably practicable' though - it would be very difficult / indefensible to justify 'cost' as a reason not to go with the safer option. 

 

 

Edited by kevinjohnsonmbe
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25 minutes ago, kevinjohnsonmbe said:

Herein lies a part of the problem though Tom.

 

As you rightly say, MEWP has become the (AA sponsored) default preferred option over climbing.  I don't agree that this should be the case and I suspect this is a classic example of rules for the blind obedience of fools.

 

I suspect, as we start to see the MEWP as the preferred method slowly building a more frequent usage, we will also start to see an increase in the accident rate associated with poor choice or operation of the MEWP - there was that case recently where they used a MEWP because it had been written into the policy as the 'preferred' option, but then failed to set it up properly resulting in a death which would not have happened had they climbed.

 

I'm not in any way anti-MEWP quite the contrary (I'm in the market) in the right circumstance.  I am however, anti-make a policy which could result in unforeseen adverse consequences.

 

Just 1 minor point about 'reasonably practicable' though - it would be very difficult / indefensible to justify 'cost' as a reason not to go with the safer option. 

 

 

The minor point you make.. I see a lot of companies justification for not using a MEWP under the banner of cost...

In a court of law. Hard to justify without other mitigating reasons I would think.

The point being as risk assessment evolution goes using SRWP could fall into the same category as to justify its use as opposed to two ropes and separate anchor points. Cost through extra time taken though.. Won't wash as Tom D points out. 

How do we move forward from this potential position we will be facing?

Hopefully we will all be kept in the loop when the AA are brought in to help re write the book..

As said we need to think of reasons why two ropes and separate anchor points will make what we do some of the time more dangerous.

Self rescue is a big one imo..

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