The Questions Your Site Surveyor Should be Asking
Here at Altus Safety, we believe that you can only make sure you have the right information if you ask the right questions. For us, there’s only one right time to ask those questions: right at the beginning of the working at height specification process.
The Importance of the Site Survey
A site survey is critical to selecting the right safety at height solution to meet the needs of the end user; whether that be the site team that’s up on the roof during the construction phase or those responsible for the building when it’s completed.
For a refurbishment project, that usually means accessing the roof area to take a look. For a new build project, it means having access to all the construction information so that we know the type of substrate we’re dealing with and the warranties we need to comply with.
Regardless of the type of project, the most important element of the site survey is the conversation we have with the client to understand the needs of those who’ll rely on the equipment we fit. Often we try to have those conversations even before we’ve won the project to ensure that the bid we submit offers a best-fit solution rather than simply following a brief that may not fully anticipate all factors that need to be considered.
Understanding Client Requirements
So why is asking the right questions so important? And what are the right questions to ask?
For us, it’s the only way to base a specification on the level of risk and there are four core areas that we need to know about:
- Why will people need to access the roof or other at height areas?
- Who will need access?
- How many people will need access at any given time?
- How often will they need access?
The answers to these questions will help us define the level of risk involved in planned activities at height, allowing us to complete a comprehensive working at height risk assessment. It will also help us establish whether those people have been health and safety trained and whether a collective safety measure is more appropriate than individual protection.
For example, if we know that rooftop air handling units will be serviced once a year by safety-trained operatives, a safety line may be appropriate. Conversely, a guardrail edge protection system will be more appropriate for a school roof where an untrained caretaker will need regular access.
A Tailored Approach
It may seem that there are general categories to inform the specification but that’s only true up to a point – a cut-and-paste specification is no substitute for genuine insights into the specific project. Often, those conversations even throw up an opportunity to value engineer the original spec, which is a bonus for the client.
Ultimately, however, the goal is to ensure the highest levels of safety at all times and only a tailored approach can deliver that.
To learn more about site surveys or to inquire about our services, please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling on 0330 113 0870 or emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forwards to hearing from you.