Safe Deck Access Hatch – Available Now!
The G&M Safe Deck Access Hatch is now available. Our hatch is designed to be used as an access point through the floor in a housing unit. The hatch is easy to use and install. It can be situated where the floor is going to be cut out to install the staircase. This way the hatch does not cause any problems with the progression of the build.
Why use a Safe Deck Access Hatch?
Our hatch is designed for operatives to gain access to the upper floor levels. Traditionally, access was restricted due to the fact the staircase is not yet installed. Consequently operatives who required access on to upper floor levels were often left to find their own way in! This ultimately has led to unsafe acts taking place. In addition, poorly constructed and installed hatches were used which sadly has led to accidents happening. As a result some accidents have resulted in the victims receiving, in some cases, life changing injuries. This is as a result of falling through inadequately supported floors and unsuitable improvised hatches.
The Safe Deck Access Hatch fits between 2 joists. As a result there is no need to make significant alterations. Consequently the hatch can be situated where the stair case will be installed. As a result minimal remedial works are necessary when the staircase is installed.
What do the Work at Height Regulations Say?
Listed below are the relevant points. To read the full regulations please visit here.
Reg 8) Every employer shall ensure that, in the case of—(b) A Working Platform – Part 1 of Schedule 3 is complied with.
Part 1 of Schedule 3 (Requirements for all working platforms) states: –
In this schedule “Supporting structure” means any structure used for the purposes of supporting a working platform and includes any plant used for that purpose.
Any surface upon which any supporting structure rests shall be stable, of sufficient strength and of suitable composition safely to support the supporting structure, the working platform and any loading intended to be placed on the working platform.
Any supporting structure shall.
(A) be suitable and of sufficient strength and rigidity for the purpose for which it is being used. (C) in other cases, be prevented from slipping by secure attachment to the bearing surface or to another structure, provision of an effective anti-slip device or by other means of equivalent effectiveness.
(D) be stable while being erected, used and dismantled. (E) when altered or modified, be so altered or modified as to ensure that it remains stable.
Stability of working platforms – A working platform shall.
(A) be suitable and of sufficient strength and rigidity for the purpose or purposes for which it is intended to be used or is being used. (B) be so erected and used as to ensure that its components do not become accidentally displaced so as to endanger any person. (C) when altered or modified, be so altered or modified as to ensure that it remains stable.
Safety on working platforms. A working platform shall.
(A) be of sufficient dimensions to permit the safe passage of persons and the safe use of any plant or materials required to be used and to provide a safe working area having regard to the work being carried out there. (B) possess a suitable surface and, in particular, be so constructed that the surface of the working platform has no gap. (i) through which a person could fall (ii) through which any material or object could fall and injure a person. or (iii) giving rise to other risk of injury to any person, unless measures have been taken to protect persons against such risk. (C) be so erected and used, and maintained in such condition, as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable. (i) the risk of slipping or tripping. Or (ii) any person being caught between the working platform and any adjacent structure.
A working platform and any supporting structure shall not be loaded so as to give rise to a risk of collapse or to any deformation which could affect its safe use.
Reg 9) – Fragile Surfaces
Every employer shall ensure that no person at work passes across or near, or works on, from or near, a fragile surface where it is reasonably practicable to carry out work safely and under appropriate ergonomic conditions without his doing so.
Where it is not reasonably practicable to carry out work safely and under appropriate ergonomic conditions without passing across or near, or working on, from or near, a fragile surface, every employer shall. (a) ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that suitable and sufficient platforms, coverings, guard rails or similar means of support or protection are provided and used so that any foreseeable loading is supported by such supports or borne by such protection.
So what does all that actually mean?
So basically, any floor surface (working platform) that is used for the purpose of supporting a working platform (decking) or for person to work from (whilst installing, altering or dismantling decking) must be suitable and safe for the persons working there and any loading they will apply to it. Poorly supported hatches and floor coverings constitute a fragile surface. Consequently the W@H regs require persons be prevented from accessing such areas. If they have to, then suitable and safe platforms (decking), coverings (Safe Deck Access Hatch) or edge protection must be used.
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