This guide provides a full review on the tips and considerations to make when procuring a fall protection contractor. The guide broken down into sections: Tender Analysis, Value Engineering, Programming.
The Tender Analysis
Quotations received from multiple Subcontractors invariably have differences and it’s important to make sure you’re comparing Apples with Apples. Look out for these important cross-checks to make sure you’re comparing like-for-like proposals.
1) Are you receiving a quote for fall arrest or fall restraint System?
There is a difference and this will drastically change the quantity of posts to be installed. A fall arrest system will give you the least amount of protection while on the roof as these are used with adjustable lanyards. If not used correctly by a trained, competent then there is a high risk of falling over the side of the building.
A Fall restraint system is designed to be used with a fixed length lanyard and the restraint system at a set distance from the edge of the roof. This ensures that there is no possible way for a user to fall off the edge of the roof. More often than not the system follows the perimeter of the roof.
2) Is the layout of the system exactly the same?
Some clients want the cheapest system possible, which would generally be a fall arrest system. Careful attention needs to be paid to the height of the building, because if it’s not designed correctly and used by a competent person, a fall arrest system could prove fatal.
3) Does the system provided meet all required British Standards, quality requirements and legislations?
Despite what you might think, not all systems do meet or exceed requirements for safety and access systems.
4) What material is the product made of?
For example, Stainless Steel eyebolts will last longer than those that are zinc coated. A zinc coated eyebolt will have a service life of approximately ten years as the BZP coating will wear down. Stainless steel will not wear down at all. The initial price of the system with zinc coated bolts may be lower, however quality products last longer and will cost less long-term.
5) Are you getting the full support of a company with an in-house design team?
Do you require re-tests and certifications of all safety systems at required intervals? On many projects, you may require 6 monthly or yearly tests, depending on the product. Be clear on what is required and included in the tender.
This next Chapter identifies six simple, intelligent solutions to Value Engineer a Fall Protection package…
Work closely with the provider to review the exact access requirements on and to the roof. If they have a design team, they’ll be able to tailor the system to suit project requirements. A good example would be if access on the roof is only required to the plant room, you only require a system that would allow access to that area rather than allowing a system to the full perimeter of the roof.
2) Fall Arrest System
Certain situations may allow a user to get to multiple areas on a roof with a few fixed points and an adjustable lanyard. This isn’t the safest option and always requires users of the system to have received the required training. However, this option is a possibility under circumstances where there is sufficient height to the building to take in to account the lanyard length (lanyard length should be shorter than the height of the building). This is important as, in the unfortunate event the lanyard isn’t adjusted correctly while using the system, the user can fall off the roof.
3) Safety First
A Fall Restraint System is the safest option as it is designed for use with a fixed length lanyard a set distance from the roof edge. This is always the preferable installation method and can still be designed to be affordable if you provide the contractor with the exact points of access required on a roof, for example rain water outlet maintenance, PV Panel maintenance, etc.
Clients can choose to have a removable ladder with a ladder tie set. This is the most affordable option and optimal from an aesthetic perspective as, when not in use, you don’t have a permanent ladder.
Fall Protection is a package of works that fall on the critical path of the project. Too often, little attention is paid to them to the detriment of the project - don’t make this mistake and follow these six tips for a snag free handover:
1) Clear of Trades
Ensure the roof is clear of other trades’ materials in areas where your installer needs to install. This will ensure a smoother process and allow the contractor to complete the project on time as planned.
Provide accurate roof plans, elevations and roof build up details along with access requirements. This will ensure there are no surprises when it comes to installation.
3) Early engagement
Designing the fall safety and roof access requirements in to the project at initial design stages or as early as possible into the project will ensure a smooth process when it comes to design, pricing and installation.
Approve all RAMS ahead of time so when the subcontractor comes to site they aren’t delayed and any problems are picked up, allowing the contractor time to resolve any issues.
Ensure no trades damage the lines and posts after installation – sequencing of trades is important. Too often, this happens when other trades are on the roof moving around pallets of materials and dropping them on safety systems and can be costly in terms of both time and money.
This content was created in collaboration with Sayfa Systems UK, specialists in working safely at height.
Sayfa Systems develop, design and manufacture all Sayfa products, supported by full CAD facilities and a large manufacturing and warehouse capacity. The company operates in accordance with all British and European standards. It gained ISO 9001, OHSAS 14001 and ISO 18001 accreditation in 2012 and has CHAS, Safe Contractor and SMAS approvals.
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