Working at height

working at height
working at height

Working at height
Working at height remains one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries. In 2014/15:
• falls from height accounted for nearly three in ten fatal injuries to workers (41 out of 142); • almost half of fatal falls took place in construction (20 out of 41 fatal fall injuries); • construction accounted for more than a fifth of specified fall injuries to employees (643) and had the highest rates of specified falls from height, with almost 49.7 injuries per 100,000 employees It is clear that all work at height needs to be properly planned, supervised and carried out by people who are competent (having the skills, knowledge and experience) to do the job. This must include the use of the right type of access equipment.
To prevent or minimise risk when planning for work at height, consider what needs to be done and take a sensible, risk-based approach to identify suitable precautions.
• Avoid work at height where it is reasonably practical to do so.
• Use work equipment to prevent falls where work at height cannot be avoided • Where the risk of a fall cannot be eliminated, use work equipment to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall if one occurs.
• Always consider measures that protect all those at risk, or collective protection measures such as scaffolds, nets and soft landing systems, before you consider measures that only protect the individual, or personal protection measures such as harnesses.
• Review your insurance policy to check whether you are covered for working at height and whether there are any restrictions you need to consider.
Dos and don’ts of working at height
• Make sure the surface/access equipment in use is stable and strong enough to support the worker’s weight and that of any equipment. Any edge protection should be wide enough and strong enough to prevent a fall.
• Work as much as possible from the ground or partly from the ground. For example, assemble structures on the ground and lift them into position with lifting equipment.
• Take precautions when working on or near fragile surfaces, such as an asbestos cement roof, to prevent a fall or to minimise the distance and reduce injuries in the event of a fall.
• Ensure workers can get safely to and from where they want to work at height, and also consider emergency evacuation and rescue procedures.
• Make sure everyone involved is competent to do the work they are responsible for, including those who plan and organise it.
• Choose the most appropriate equipment for the type of work being done and how often it will be used.
• Provide protection from falling objects.
• Make sure equipment used for work at height is well maintained and inspected regularly.
• Overload ladders. The worker and anything he or she is taking up should not exceed the highest load stated on the ladder.
• Overreach on ladders or stepladders. Keep your belt buckle (navel) inside the stiles and both feet on the same rung throughout the task.
• Use ladders or stepladders if the nature of the work is deemed to be ‘heavy’ or if the task will take longer than 30 minutes to complete.
• Use ladders if workers cannot maintain three points of contact (two hands and one foot, or one hand and two feet) at the working position. If this is not possible, consider an alternative safe system of work.
• Let anyone who is not competent carry out work at height.

Electrical Inspection & Testing


The risk of fire caused by an electrical fault can be hidden from normal view and less obvious to detect for someone who has responsibility for the safety of persons in a non domestic situation. This is one reason why it is important to have your electrical systems inspected and tested by a competent person and in accordance with BS 7671. Above is a example of where overheating, with the potential to cause fire, have occurred. The example was found by a Etm engineer whilst carrying out inspection and testing.
This example is a shower that had been overheating. It did become obvious as a fire actually started and was thankfully spotted.It was picked up during the electrical inspection and testing by our Etm engineer.

The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET)produce Electrical Inspection & Testing Guidance Note 3 to BS7671. Section 2.5.2g states that fire barriers, suitable seals and/or protection against thermal effects should be provided if necessary to meet the requirements of BS 7671 to minimise the spread of fire.

One good reason for carrying out electrical safety testing on your building. Loose connections found wile carrying out electrical safety testing at one of our clients site.

Loose connections could cause a fire, this fault would be classed as a C1 Fail Code -Danger Present. Risk of injury. Immediate remedial action required.

The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989-Reg 4(2) state “The need for maintenance to be done to ensure safety”. As such all commercial premises must be electrically tested and certified to ensure they can continue to be used safety.

BS7671 wiring regulations to the latest edition sets out the requirements for all electrical installations in the UK. The Institute of Engineers and Technology (IET) produce guidance notes to enlarge on the wiring regulations and set out guidance on how compliance can be achieved. Guidance Note 3 covers the Inspection & testing of Electrical Installations.

An electrical installation should be periodically inspected by a qualified electrical engineer. ETM (Electrical Test Midlands) are experts in this field and will advise any customer who may be unsure of the periodicity or scope of the Inspection & Test.

For more information on electrical testing please phone us on 01922 710014

or use our free phone number 0800 066 3227

What is an AOV?

fire alarm testing header

What is an AOV?

AOV is simply an abbreviation for “Automatic Opening Vent”. An AOV system is a control system designed to vent air or smoke for use in natural & smoke ventilation.

So why do I need an AOV system?

AOV control systems are used mainly to control the ventilation of smoke in a fire. Changes to building regulations were made due to the results of investigations into smoke inhalation.

When a detector or call point is triggered an AOV control system will open actuators, windows or vents to create ventilation. This clears smoke for people leaving the building and vents smoke out of the area that has been triggered. The provisonal standard that is now available for reference is EN:12101.

What AOV products do I need?

We supply 2 systems for AOV control; AOV single zone or AOV multi zone. Each panel can be triggered by detectors or VCS call points. This will then activate actuators to open or close.

How do I decide which AOV system to fit?

You first need to decide what items you need to control on your system. You should work out how many items will need to open separately & then class each one as a zone. See the following examples:

Example 1 :

You have one roof vent or window which must open when the fire alarm is triggered.

In this situation you have 1 zone. You need to first see how the roof vent or window operates. If it is manual opening then you will need to add an AOV actuator which can be triggered to open or close. If there is already a fire system in place there may be smoke detectors fitted. In this situation you can link an AOV single zone to your fire system which will trigger when smoke is detected in that area. The AOV actuator when triggered will open, when reset it will close. VCS yellow call points can be added for override or system test. (If there is no fire system in place a detector can be fitted to trigger the system.)

Example 2 :

You have 4 floors, a window on each, and a vent for a shaft on the roof.

This situation would leave you with 5 zones. Here you would use an AOV multi zone panel which will be able to open/close each zone independantly. Under this condition it may be that the vent should open together with any zone that is triggered. (A roof vent will be on a smoke shaft or stairwell. Opening it together with a window will then create a chimney effect clearing smoke.)

In this case you can set the AOV multi zone with zone 1 as a “master”. A simple solution that will then trigger zone 1 together with any of the zones 2 – 5.

Again you would then need to add an actuator to each window/vent and either link to your existing fire system or add VCS call points & smoke detectors to the AOV multi zone system to trigger.


New builds

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Above is our latest project.Project involves 10 etm engineers which they will be carrying out all electrical,plumbing and heating works also installation of virgin and sky supplies.We will also be designing and installing fire alarm system including AOR, door entry systems,security alarms and emergency lighting throughout. Etm are proud to have won this contract not just on price but our quality of work and health and safety records we have built over the years.

Gas Safety Week


Gas Safety Week is an annual safety week to raise awareness of gas safety and the importance of taking care of your gas appliances. It is co-ordinated by Gas Safe Register with support from across industry including retailers, manufacturers, consumer bodies and the public.

Twenty three million households in United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Guernsey use gas for heating, hot water and cooking, yet we take it for granted that our boilers, cookers and gas fires are safe. Badly fitted and poorly serviced gas appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Did you know?
• Every year thousands of people across the UK are diagnosed with carbon monoxide poisoning. It is a highly poisonous gas. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it, but it can kill quickly with no warning.
• Gas Safe Register estimates around 1.1 million gas jobs are carried out every year by illegal fitters. 3 in 5 illegal jobs inspected were found to be unsafe, with 1 in 5 having to be immediately disconnected, as they were deemed to be too dangerous.

EICR code C3

Should I be giving a code C3 to a socket found under a New commercial website blog when I carry out an EICR of a property because water could leak from the sink or pipework in the future?

You should only be giving codes to things you can identify at the time of the inspection and not what might happen if another system fails. Unless there are signs of damage and/or the accessory is not fit for the environment at that time there is no need to record it on the EICR