The STA is committed in providing industry agreed guidance and best practice. Click on any item below to download the latest guidance notes relating to the work at height regulations. 

STA guidance Work at Height Guidance Note WAH 001

STA guidance Working on stacks that penetrate fragile roofs WAH 002

STA guidance Temporary Access Platforms WAH 003

Common questions on platforms and access

Permanent Platforms:

What are the inspection requirements?

New fixed access platforms require a survey after assembly/installation but before use. For existing platforms that have not been built to a recognised design standard, the platform must also have a base-line survey

The platform should then be subject to interim/periodic surveys at a frequency determined by risk assessment (as determined by a Structural Engineer) and then a further inspection prior to use.

Who should carry out the base-line survey?

A suitably competent person. (e.g. A Structural Engineer)

Who could carry out the interim inspections and the prior-to-use inspections?

A suitably competent person.

Who could carry out the prior to use inspections?

This can be a member of your own Engineering staff who has received suitable and sufficient instruction/training from the Structural Engineer on what are the points and scope of the interim and prior-to-use inspections. Details of this instruction/training should be formally documented.

Is there any other time that the fixed platform should be inspected?

Yes, at each time that an exceptional circumstance has occurred which may affect the safety integrity of the fixed platform, e.g. vehicle impact, shock loading, extreme adverse weather etc.

Refer to STA guidance WAH001 Inspection of Permanent Elevated Working Platforms for further information.

Temporary Access Platforms:

Who can construct a temporary platform (Scaffolds)?

Persons who have received suitable and sufficient training in the construction of such platforms can construct temporary access platforms. This will normally be a local scaffold provider unless you have suitably trained staff internally.

What inspections are required for temporary platforms?

On completion of erection, a competent person should inspect the scaffold and common practice is to "scafftag" the scaffold. It should then be inspected at a frequency of no greater than 7 days with the "scafftag" being re-authorised.

Is there any other time that the temporary platform should be inspected?

Yes, at each time that an exceptional circumstance has occurred which may affect the safety integrity of the temporary platform, e.g. vehicle impact, shock loading, extreme adverse weather etc.

What are the weight specification requirements for the temporary platform?

All platforms should meet minimum weight criteria required for sampling (400kg point load in BS EN 13284-1:2002). Temporary scaffolds cannot be constructed to this specification and must, instead, be constructed to a minimum "scafftag" category of "Heavy Duty".

Are there any other requirements for temporary platforms?

Yes, temporary platforms must be tied to, or supported by, a permanent structure.

Mobile elevated working platforms ('cherry-pickers'):

STA guidance note HSGN 1019 Why MEWP are unsuitable for stack testing

Can MCERTS organisation/personnel use a cherry picker to conduct sampling?

No. Where cherry pickers may have been used in the past by the industry, risk assessment has identified that these are not fit for purpose and not safe. This is based on the fact that a 'cherry picker' cannot achieve the 400kg point load, the basket space is too restrictive for the equipment and, by attaching the probe to the stack emission point, one is effectively attaching the basket to the structure and preventing a quick means of escape in an emergency.

It should be noted that the use of cherry pickers is in contravention of MCERTS requirements and accreditation or certification can be withdrawn from companies and/or personnel found to be using cherry pickers to carry of stack sampling.

Fragile Roof Surfaces:

What are the Process Operator's duties in relation to fragile surfaces?

It is the duty of the process operator to ensure the health and safety of non-employees and provide safe access and egress for their place of work. If the stack penetrates a roof surface and the stack monitoring team is required to transfer across such surfaces, the process operator must carry our a suitable and sufficient assessment of the transfer area and provide adequate control measures to prevent a fall through a fragile surface.

Refer to STA guidance note "WAH002 Working on stacks that penetrate fragile roofs" for further information.