Tag Archives: working at height

How to utilise mezzanine floors safely

By Jason Godfrey, Safesite General Manager

Mezzanine floors in warehouses, when utilised properly, can hugely increase the productivity of the site by making use of space that would otherwise be wasted. Benefits of using mezzanine space include decreasing dispatch times and removing the need to expand into new premises.

SafesiteHowever, with these benefits come new risks, in the form of working at height. Though mezzanine floors are not inherently unsafe, any work where there is a risk of fall should be properly planned out, with measures put in place to remove or reduce the risk of injury.

Pallet gates are a fantastic way to protect workers on mezzanine areas without reducing productivity or affecting the benefits mezzanine floors provide.

The solution

The Mezzanine Pallet Safety Gate system offered by Safesite allows you to safely load and offload heavy items to and from a mezzanine floor by using a forklift. The range is easy to install or retro-fit to guardrails and barriers on mezzanines.

Each gate is counterbalanced for a positive open and close action, adding to the gate’s ease of operation. Workers above and below will be protected and items can be removed and replaced safely from below.

Constructed from Kee Klamp and Kee Lite fittings, the Pallet Safety Gate is available in both galvanised steel and aluminum, complies with EN 14122-3 and is cycle tested for guaranteed durability.

Utilising mezzanine space in your factory or warehouse has fantastic benefits, but you must always ensure the safety of your workers and other visitors to your site, making it a top priority. Pallet gates safely allow work to continue whilst providing fantastic protection.


Guardrail Installation Horrors

Article by Terry Creed, Technical Sales Consultant, Safesite Ltd

roof edge protection

We’ve written in the past about the importance of competency, especially when it comes to fall protection equipment.  I spend a lot of time on roofs and unfortunately come across some shocking work which illustrates what happens when price is chosen over competency.

The following are the latest batch of horrors I’ve seen when out and about on site.

roof safety

This system is installed so poorly it’s quite unbelievable that someone could leave it that way!  The guardrail is too low, weights and feet are in the wrong position, extremely unstable, grub screws loose or missing, uneven…I could go on…..

roof safety

Poor guardrail installation – no mid rail, a fitting is missing completely and the hot vent flue has damaged the rail. And when you look at the installation from the other side, it gets worse.  The photograph below shows that single fixing has been used into the masonry.


This is definitely not something we would recommend as the fixings can work loose over time.


How NOT to install edge protection around roof access hatches.


And finally, if your guardrail needs repairing, please make sure the person carrying out the repair knows what they’re doing. Otherwise this could happen!

Related Posts

There will always be a “cheaper option”

Checking on competency


ECEX overcomes university challenge

access safety

ECEX has successfully solved a roof safety and access problem for the University of Oxford by custom-fabricating and installing a galvanised steel sub-frame and non-slip grating designed to provide consistent, level and safe access to rooftop HVAC equipment.

Access across the roof of a complex of laboratory buildings at the university was obstructed by the pipework, cables and supports serving extraction and HVAC units, including chillers and condensers.

This caused a series of significant trip hazards to employees working on the rooftop, so the University’s engineering team called in an ECEX specialist to survey the area and improve access. The University was already familiar with the company and impressed by its work because ECEX has previously supplied and installed Air Intake Screens widely across the university’s 300-plus building estate.

ECEX uses the hierarchy of control measures determined by the Health & Safety Executive to decide the optimum solution in each specific case. John Grenville, managing director, explained: “In other words, the ultimate measure is to remove the hazard completely if this is practical. If not, the next measure down is to use collective fall protection such as guard railing so that someone without specialised training can move around the roof safely. The next level down would be the use of personal protective equipment such as a harness, and so on.”

ECEX’s means of access for the University of Oxford project was through occupied parts of the building so the company installed its gantry system out of hours to avoid disruption.

ECEX surveys, designs, manufactures and installs bespoke and off-the-shelf access safety solutions, including:

  • Walkways and step-overs
  • Access ladders and platforms
  • Guardrail and edge protection
  • Stairs
  • Mesh security caging
  • Other fabricated metalwork


Redland’s BCP pitched roof training is just the ticket


Roofers lacking formal qualifications can now enjoy CITB-funded training thanks to Redland’s accreditation as an approved provider of the Basic Competency Programme (BCP) for pitched roofing.

The BCP certificate – when combined with a Working at Heights CSCS Health & Safety Test pass – entitles both apprentices and ‘old hands’ to apply for the three-year Red ‘Experienced Worker’ CSCS ‘ticket’, allowing them to work on site while looking towards the next level of qualification.

The main objective of the BCP is to support roofers without either a full competency or an official roofing qualification in obtaining one; and help them to convert their green CSCS cards to the Blue Skilled Worker CSCS version. It will also help those in other trades, perhaps already holding higher level CSCS cards, to change sector or add to their skill sets. The BCP is endorsed by the CITB, the NFRC CompetentRoofer scheme and CSCS.

The two-day course covers areas such as pitch, scale, orientation, setting out, constants, estimating, understanding BS 5534; plus practical ‘how to’ sessions on the installation of roofing systems, both single lap interlocking and double lap plain tile and slate. The course is delivered from Redland’s National Training Centre based just outside Cirencester, Gloucestershire.

Heavily subsidised by Redland and the CITB, the course costs only £150 for both the training and certification. A CITB training grant may also be available to qualifying companies, bringing the total cost of the BCP certificate down to just £50.

Mat Woodyatt, technical training manager at Redland, said: “Obviously it’s an honour for Redland to be recognised as the only one currently capable of meeting BCP certification training demands for pitched roofing. But beyond that, it’s fantastic for us to be involved with bringing through the next generation of roofers, as well as setting older hands off on the qualification pathway. It’s great for us, great for them and great for the industry”.


Performance Testing for Rooflight Covers

By Jason Godfrey, General Manager, Safesite Ltd

When speaking to a customer recently about our new rooflight and skylight protection, Kee Cover®, we were asked how we can be sure that the cover will stop someone from falling through the rooflight?

The simple answer is that the range has undergone extensive testing in accordance with industry standards and guidance such as the ACR Red Book Test for Non-Fragility of Large Element Assemblies.

What is the issue?

It’s estimated that on average 7 people a year are killed falling through a fragile roof or fragile rooflight and as a result there has been an increasing demand for roofing products to be non-fragile.  Concerns raised by the HSE and the roofing industry over the lack of a clear accurate standard or guidance for roofing manufacturers to work to, led to the publication of an ACR standard.  We are now on the 5th edition of this standard, the ACR [M]001:2014 – sometimes referred to as The Red Book.

The Red Book defines the test for non-fragility which should be applied to any roof assembly and any accessories such as rooflights which may be fitted.  The aim is to determine whether the structure can both support the sudden load imposed on it by someone stumbling or falling onto it and then retain that load for a specified time.

The Test

The test defines 3 Classes of non-fragility A, B & C.   Very few roof constructions achieve Class A.  When it comes to rooflight covers, you want to be sure that the cover can withstand the initial impact of someone falling on it, but also remain intact while the person is on the cover.

The ACR standard requires drop-tests where a 45kg sand bag is released from a test rig and allowed to free fall a minimum of 1.2m under gravity onto the surface of the test sample.

For a rooflight cover to be classified as non-fragile is must arrest the fall and retain the full load for at least 5 minutes after impact.

The following flow chart outlines the fragility test requirements and classification.


Kee Cover Testing          

In addition to the ACR test, Kee Cover® has also undergone extensive testing in accordance with the European Standard BS EN 1873 2014: Prefabricated accessories for roofing. Individual rooflights of plastics. Product specification and test methods.

Both tests have proven that if someone does fall onto the Kee Cover®, it will prevent them falling through the fragile rooflight and retain their weight following the fall.