Access needs can be predicted and planning must occur in advance. People need access to machinery and equipment in the workplace (either continually or occasionally) for predictable tasks such as operation, maintenance, repair, installation, service or cleaning.
When using fall-arrest systems, specialist assistance may be necessary to select appropriate equipment, provide effective training in use and inspection, and develop an emergency retrieval plan to recover a person suspended in a fall-arrest harness. People suspended by a fall-arrest harness for short periods of time may suffer serious health effects, or may have incurred injury during the fall prior to the fall-arrest device deploying.
Interlock guarding occurs when the act of moving the guard (opening, sliding or removing) to allow access, stops the action of the hazardous mechanism. Interlock guarding works by: • disconnecting the drive mechanism mechanically (e.g. applying a brake or disengaging a clutch or geared mechanism) • isolating the power source of the drive mechanism (e.g. stopping the motor) • a combination of mechanical and power disconnection.
Workplace managers may not have considered or recognised the need to provide similar means to gain safe access to parts of machinery and equipment at height, or in awkward locations for maintenance, repair, service or cleaning activities. Safe access at height can be broken into three categories. Each category has in common the need to provide a stable, safe platform suitable for the work to be undertaken, and to be equipped to support and retain a person within the confines of the platform.