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HomeFarming NewsFarmers advised to stay off roofs
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Farmers advised to stay off roofs

HSENI has launched their fourth Farm Safe Essential message, ‘Stay Off Roofs’, which offers guidance when working on farmyard roofs.

The Farm Safe Essentials messages aims to drill down into the key issues which are the main causes of major incidents and death on our farms.

The first Farm Safe Essentials message, ‘No Brakes, No Chance’, was launched during this year’s Farm Safety Week.

Also, the second message, ‘Plan Safe Spaces’ focusing on bulls, was launched in September. Furthermore, the third message, ‘Give Slurry Space’, was launched in October.

Stay off roofs

The fourth message, ‘Stay Off Roofs’, encourages the farming community to consider the risks when working at height and on roofs.

Falls from height remains one of the main causes of fatalities and major injuries on our farms. Common incidents include falls from ladders and through fragile surfaces.

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A number of recent fatalities highlight the dangers of falling inside a building under construction.

It is critical to ensure that any person working at height is suitably competent to do so. The correct equipment must also be used for the job, and internal fall protection must be implemented if there is a chance someone could fall to the ground below them internally when working on the roof structure.


HSENI is proposing the following guidance:

  • Firstly, all work at height MUST be planned AND fragile surfaces identified by a competent person.
  • Anyone undertaking work at height MUST be adequately trained and competent to do the job.
  • Any equipment used for working at height MUST be suitable for the job.
  • Equipment MUST be adequately maintained with relevant safety checks completed by a competent person.
  • Any person operating this equipment MUST be familiar with the equipment AND trained to operate it.
  • All leading edges must have suitable and sufficient protection to stop people falling from height both internally and externally.
  • Mobile Elevated Working Platforms (MEWPS) (e.g. scissor lifts or cherry pickers) are the preferred method for working at height if a scaffold platform cannot be erected.
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