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New safety initiatives arm architects and designers with work at height guidance

The Access Industry Forum (AIF) has introduced a dedicated work at height information helpline for Designer’s Initiative on Health & Safety
(DIOHAS) which members include professionals from the major architectural practices, other construction disciplines and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Using the email helpline, DIOHAS members can now contact the forum direct with any questions or queries relating to safe working at height. In response, they will receive information and guidance from the relevant AIF member organisation which area of expertise best matches the enquiry.

The launch of the helpline coincides with the publication of BS 8560: 2012, the new ‘Code of practice for the design of buildings incorporating safe work at height’. The forum was a major contributor to the development of the new standard, which encourages architects and designers to assess, as early as possible in the design process, the implications of work at height.

The standard seeks to minimise work at height over the lifetime of a building, but where work at height cannot be avoided, to take account of practical, efficient and cost-effective solutions for the safety of those who have to undertake ongoing work such as cleaning, maintenance and repairs.

According to the forum, work at height issues should be considered and controlled at every stage of a project, and these latest initiatives will help provide a better understanding of the issues involved and how they can be planned and managed effectively from the outset of a project.

Paul_Bussey_RIBA_FMJ022013Paul Bussey of the RIBA said: “Architects and designers often need advice or assistance with any design work that they undertake which has implications for both access and safety. Working with the forum on both these initiatives has enabled our community to plug in to the work at height industry directly and ensure that we are as informed as possible about this important area.”

The DIOHAS helpline is the latest in a series of developments from the forum which will host the Work at Height Safety Zone at Roofex, 1-2 May, at the NEC, and the AIF Knowledge Base at the Safety and Health Expo, 14-16 May, also at the NEC.

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