Farm safety has yet again been the focus of several press reports featuring cases where companies or people have been prosecuted following a fall through a fragile skylight on a farm building.
According to the HSE, farming is the highest risk industrial sector, with falls being the second highest cause of death. Falls often happen from lofts, ladders, vehicles, bale stacks or unsuitable access equipment but more commonly are from roofs while carrying out repairs or installing solar panels or through fragile materials such as skylights.
There are currently a number of initiatives such as Cornish Mutual's FarmSafe campaign which aim to raise awareness of health and safety in the sector by providing valuable information for members on how to ensure their farms are safe for employees, families and the general public. The HSE also provides guidance in its Agriculture section where it addresses the issue of fragile roofs by explaining that "no one must ever work on or from, or walk over, fragile roofs unless platforms, covers or similar are provided which will adequately support their weight."
Most falls from height can be avoided through correct equipment selection, instruction and training. Products such as our Roof Walk lightweight aluminium walkway allow work to be carried out on or near to fragile materials in complete safety. Edge protection is provided through the addition of single or double sided handrails, as recommended by the HSE, to prevent workers falling from the system onto the fragile material.
For further details on our range of fragile roof products please see our Roof Access Equipment.