View Full Version : working alone out of hours in shops

16-02-2011, 10:46 PM
hello everybody before i posted this thread i looked around but couldnt find any answers to my questions, the company i work for has a contract with an large food chain if a compressor or any hot works are required we have to do this out of hours, this was ok untill they stopped us working in twos, what we used to do was arrive on site before the shop closed get the key, hot works permit ect wait till everybody had left then start work, now we have to do this alone, what happens if i get an electric shock or have an accident which knocks me out or i carnt reach the phone, i work in the uk which has the most stupid health and saftey laws so there must be one covering this, they must have a duty of care towards me? can you help?:confused:

16-02-2011, 10:59 PM
Yes he does have a duty of care but it appears that there is nothing specific about not working alone.

Risk assesments need to be completed taking into account the requirements of the end customer.

Start reading here
and click through the various links.

Remember that the ultimate risk taker is you and your health is the first priority. Does the client's permit to work/hot work permit require two people?

16-02-2011, 11:11 PM
You should have a copy of your employers health and safety policy and rules in which should be some reference to working practices and risk assesment....... also you're entitled to ask for copies of risk assesment and method statements and all COSSH data for the work you're asked to do.

Your employer's public liability insurance will have a standard proceedure relevent to hot working that most likely requires you to have a fire warden or 2nd person during the time of the work.

The electricity at work act provides basic requirements. I understand main issues are anyone working on elctrical systems needs to be deemed competent, have suitable experience and knowledge. Live working is technically not an option but there can be mitigating circumstances where it is necessary. There is also an issue of accompaniment during live work. The presence of a colleague who could render assistance if safe to do so could prevent injury or mitigate its extent. There will be some doc that you could read up on from the HSE

www.hse.gov.uk (http://www.hse.gov.uk)

16-02-2011, 11:53 PM
thanks for those reply's will check the insurance side of it tomorrow, it just feels wrong to be left alone to our job with no chance of rescue for about 12 hours, on a different note many years ago when i bought my house i took out life insurance only to be informed that a refrigeration engineer is a cat 4 the scale only goes to 5 which is pilots and off shore workers oh the office wallers which give us so much sh*t are a cat 1 so work it out!

17-02-2011, 06:23 AM

18-02-2011, 01:25 AM
As a bare minimum you need a fire watch person if welding alone, throw the health and safety act or what is relevent at your place, at the client. Suggest that client supplies the second person. If all else fails set off a fire alarm, that will gets clients cheap arz attention

Makeit go Right
24-03-2011, 02:13 PM
I do not think the customer can tell you whether you should work alone or with a mate. That is how you do the job. Of course, if you charge per man, the difficulty arises when customer wants to shave the price down.

What would you do if customer does not want to pay for nitrogen when testing, skip it too?

If it's your own business you can just tell him it is a safety matter or just how you work. It can be quite tiring to up/down the ladder for every last odd tool etc or back to the van ....It normally takes longer with just one man, anyway so the customer is being a bit silly.

If you are PAYE, then you should write a letter to your own director expressing your concerns about the safety of working alone, up a ladder, with electricity, high pressure gas, etc etc, in an empty building. The director is normally directly liable for your safety so he will want to sort it out safely.

But, it is a cost thing...customer wants it cheap, you want the mate with you....An area for negociation basically. As an idea, why not tell him the mate will maintain another unit while on site with you...something like that so he feels he gets better return for his cash?

Kev The Tool
24-03-2011, 06:32 PM
look at it like this, what could go wrong, is it life threatning or life changing then decide how much your life or permenant disablment is worth to you, when you have worked this out go and tell your boss to stick his job up his ar*e. hope this helps.


Makeit go Right
25-03-2011, 01:14 AM
Kev has it clearly stated.

Smoothing that out a bit. Tell your boss that it will be unsafe to carry out the work in that manner for the various reasons highlighted. If he then says "You bl**dy well better do what you're told and go do that job!" Then tell him to stick it and you have the option of constructive dismissal and tribunal etc.

Not pleasant but it's good to have options, eh?