With falls from height being a leading cause of work related fatalities in the UK, any work at height represents a large risk that needs to be mitigated, and painting and decorating work at a height is no different.
What is ‘Work at Height’?
Work at height is defined by the UK HSE as ‘Any work where, if precautions were not taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury.’
There is a whole set of UK Legislation that you can read more about here, but as a quick summary, to undertake a work at height project, one must ensure:
- All work at height is properly planned and organised
- Those involved in work at height are competent
- The risks from work at height are assessed, and appropriate work equipment is selected and used
- The risks of working on or near fragile surfaces are properly managed
- The equipment used for work at height is properly inspected and maintained
Whilst the work at height regulations will cover all work at height including working on a roof where a worker may be able to fall through that roof, here we are focussing on free standing access for painting, IE, a wall, building or piece of infrastructure needs painting, and access must be brought in, as opposed to, for example, how to be careful and safe whilst working on a permanent raised platform.
Examples of painting at height could include, but is not limited to:
- Decorative exterior house and home painting.
- Protective exterior house and home painting, such as waterproof coatings, like Stormdry.
- Exterior commercial painting (office blocks).
- Industrial and warehouse painting.
Options for Painting Work At Height
- Ladders and stepladders.
The law says that ladders are a perfectly safe option for painting at height, as long as the risk assessment shows that equipment offering a higher level of fall protection would not be justified because, for example, you are only working for a short period of time. A general guideline stated by HSE is that if you are to work from a ladder for more than 30 minutes at a time, you should look at more robust equipment. Furthermore, if the ground is not flat, stable or suitable to mount a ladder then alternatives should be also considered.
One of those alternatives is painting at a height off scaffolding or scaffolding towers. Scaffolding comes with it many benefits such as safety and security, but also many negatives such as high cost and high disruption as it can take a long time to erect scaffolding.
- Rope Access.
Rope access painting can represent a fast and safe alternative if properly risk assessed and adequately trained technicians are appointed. This is not always a possible option as the roof of the building must have adequate mounting points and easy to access. This alternative can often be expensive due to the highly skilled and in demand nature of the workers.
- MEWP (Mobile Elevated Work Platform or Cherry Picker).
Cherry picker painters can be used in some situations, with the main barriers to this being the access at the base of the building due to the large size of these machines, weather conditions for safe operation (ie, high winds) and again cost involved for rental and a skilled operator.
In many scenarios robotic painting can offer a very cost effective, safe and high quality alternative. With unique wall climbing robot technologies, the job can be completed quickly and with zero danger as no-body has to leave the floor.
Hausbots Wall Climbing Robot Solution
At HausBots, we use technology to protect and maintain the built environment.
HausBots have designed and developed a new generation of wall climbing technology with a high payload carrying capacity.
We have developed a series of attachments for the system, with a popular choice being the airless spray system adapted to fit on our wall climbing robot.
The painting use cases we specialise in are:
- Exterior protective paints for residential, such as Stormdry
- Commercial and warehouse painting
- Commercial exterior painting
We service all clients including:
- Housing association and councils
- Block managers and property managers
- Subcontract to professional painting contractors
- Many more
To conclude, when assessing your options for a painting at height project, consider involving a professional firm who can risk assess the situation properly and offer solutions.
Please do get in touch with photos of your project to see if HausBots can use robotics in your next painting at height project to firstname.lastname@example.org