To ensure the restoration or repair work is a safe and enjoyable experience for all involved it is essential that the work is adequately planned, organised and supervised. Your method statements and risk assessment will need to be approved by the Canal & River Trust before work can proceed.
Planning and Health and Safety
Risk Assessments: A Risk Assessment is an important tool in protecting volunteers, staff and members of the public as well as complying with the law. It helps you focus on the risks that really matter on your site – the ones with the potential to cause harm.
Conducting a risk assessment is not difficult or demanding. It is just a case of looking at the activity and identifying the hazards (anything that has the potential to do harm) associated with it. By gauging the likelihood that the hazard will do harm, and the severity of the harm caused, a risk rating can be calculated. If the risk rating is low, the activity can proceed; if it is medium more control measures might need to be considered, and if it is high more control measures are likely to be required to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. More guidance regarding risk assessments can be found on the HSE website.
Method Statements: Clear, step by step guidance on how to carry out the work so that everyone has an agreed reference point. The method statement should take into account the heritage implications of the project and ensure clear and concise information is available to all volunteers.
Specialist Access: Volunteers will be working on and around the bridge structure for the duration of a project – to ensure volunteers are not exposed to the risk of working at height specialist access may be used to access some areas of the bridge.
Canal & River Trust will be resposible for organising the installation, modification and maintenance of the agreed access arrangements and carrying out daily or weekly inspections. Requirements for access should be discussed at the initial site meeting with the Canal & River Trust.
Personal Protective Equipment: The Canal & River Trust will provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to all volunteers working on the project. PPE should be used when all other measures are deemed inadequate to control exposure to health and safety risks whilst carrying out a task. PPE can include items such as safety helmets and hard hats, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, and safety footwear. To make sure the right type of PPE is chosen, consider the different hazards in the workplace and identify the PPE that will provide adequate protection against them; this may be different for each job.
Useful information can be found on the HSE website and here.
Other things to consider:
Building Bridges Guide
Online or Pdf
WRG's Health & Safety Booklet
Canal & River Trust's Heritage Works Approved Process