We have recently attended a site in London, assisting a new client to undertake a risk assessment and method statement for working on the roof of one of their clients. Before going to site we asked for an outline of the work, pictures and what their client’s facilities manager was expecting to see. The last part was where the proverbial kitchen sink comes in.
The task our client was asked to undertake required the application of a reflective substance to the roof; the key part we were asked to assist with was to determine the safe working method for working outside of the existing roof barrier system. However as the substance to be applied (which comes in 20 litre tins) is classified as flammable, additional limitations were agreed including limiting to one tin only on site (which is to be removed at the end of each working day).
Going through the facilities manager (FM) brief with our client it soon became clear that the FM was working with a remotely based consultancy (based in Liverpool) and it was this consultancy who suggested what was required. They had even asked for a DSEAR assessment (kitchen sink) to be undertaken – for one 20 litre tin used on an open roof!!
This shows a lack of understanding of the ethos of sensible and proportionate risk control that as health & safety professionals we should all be applying. As our client suggested he could see what they were asking for, but except for protecting their backside what does this do apart from tie the job up (which was the case in this instance, as all work had ceased)?
Happily, we were able to assist with a more realistic approach and provide a safe method of working that would enable the job to be completed; both safely and cost effectively.