Tetra’s Working at Height Division was approached by several Cavity Wall Insulation companies during the autumn of 2007, with a view to producing a horizontal restraint line to protect operatives when working above flat roofs. This system was to offer an alternative solution to an installed collective system.
The proposed method was to achieve a temporary horizontal lifeline, secured to the wall via the usage of our 20mm re-useable eyebolts. The engineer would then attach themselves via the usage of their existing cows’ tail which would restrict their movement preventing inadvertent access to an exposed edge. During winter 07/08 we developed a prototype system and a selection of tests were completed and independently witnessed. The tests were performed to ascertain suitability of strength and maximum deflection of system to determine safe edge distances. To complete the test regime, drop testing on the system was successfully completed.
During 2008, controlled field trials were completed across the UK and although positive results were achieved in all areas, and the trial system was well received by all clients involved, we decided during December 2008 to suspend the project. This was primarily as legislation states that restraint anchors should be capable of withstanding three times the users’ weight. In order to demonstrate compliance, each anchor would have to be pull tested on site prior to use. Following the feedback gathered during the trials, it was established by all parties involved, that in addition to the high cost of the test equipment, that individuals would generally be opposed to pull testing each bolt due to the time it would take to perform this task. Tetra’s decision to indefinitely suspend the R&D into the horizontal life line for flat roofs was not taken lightly, after investing hundreds of hours of development and testing, at considerable cost.
During 2011, following the production of the CIGA (Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency) recommended guidance for flat roof working, CIGA were tasked with obtaining test results to verify the suitability of the re-useable anchorage points, used in conjunction with a flat roof system. In the absence of test results from both CIGA and their chosen suppliers, in 2012 we were approached by Justine Lee – HSE Inspector, enquiring if Tetra would be prepared to undertake the previously defined test criteria and submit our test results in isolation.
We agreed to this and on the 23rd March a meeting was arranged, where we presented our test report to Jim Grieve & Justine Lee of the HSE. During the meeting they confirmed that the test results met all their criteria, and have asked for our permission to use our report on the internal HSE website as a benchmark.
As a result of this consultation Tetra are delighted to be the only company in the UK to have successfully completed the comprehensive testing required by the HSE and can now offer a full range of Flat Roof working solutions.
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