Home > Avoiding Accidents > Working At Height

Working At Height

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 7 Nov 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Working Height Regulations Safety

There are many occupations which require you to work at height. From climbing up ladders to using scaffolding and platforms, the risks of falling from height are very real indeed and account for a large proportion of the number of accidents which occur in the workplace every year which is why it is important to have proper regulations in place.

The Work At Height Regulations 2005

The regulations are in place in order to help prevent the many serious injuries and even deaths that occur each year due to a fall from height in the workplace. They are aimed at those who control the work of others – people such as facilities managers, construction site managers and even the self-employed. In fact, anybody who might contract others to work at height.

In April 2007, the regulations were amended to also incorporate those who might engage in height related activities such as in teambuilding exercises or in any other kind of sport or recreational pursuit which can involve operating at height.

Employer Responsibilities

An employer must ensure that any work which is to be carried out at height has been properly planned, is fully supervised and that it’s only carried out by those who are competent to do it. They must ensure that the staff have received thorough instruction and training and that they’ve been given all the necessary information which is required in order to carry out their tasks. Where possible, an employer should try to see if any particular role is able to be performed without resorting to working at height, first of all.

An example might be a long handled implement for cleaning office windows. If not, they must take all necessary steps to make the area as safe as possible and to install any protective equipment which would help to prevent falls from occurring, e.g. safety barriers, guard rails, soft landing strips, nets etc.

Worker Responsibilities

It is a worker’s responsibility to use all the equipment which has been provided in the correct and proper manner and to follow all training and instruction to the letter, except in the case where the worker feels the instruction still has the potential to be dangerous which would then call for a review of the safety instructions and procedures until the worker was satisfied that all necessary precautions were in place. They must also report any specific hazards or faulty or dangerous equipment to their employer.

Risk Assessment

An employer must ensure that a proper risk assessment is carried out before any work at height is undertaken. It’s not simply a fall from height at which a person is working but also the risks associated with trips and slips which could occur at height too. It must take into account what protection is already in place, such as rails, barriers etc and whether that can be improved upon and the risk assessment should be regularly reviewed. This is especially true in areas like construction where the requirements for scaffolding are often changing on a regular basis as a building gets nearer completion so each time the scaffolding structure is changed, a further risk assessment needs to be carried out.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
I work for a builders merchants and on some occasions it is required to tip a load across the gates, therefore the counter balance truck will have to venture onto the public path slightlyto unload the wagon.I am getting mixed opinions on whether this is ok.
pigsfeet - 7-Nov-17 @ 7:18 AM
My employer has recently authorised the removal of audible reverse alarms (factory fitted) at my workplace where we have in excess of 85 flts operating. is this even legal?
bonobo - 11-Oct-17 @ 12:29 PM
I own a small company and wanted to know if I need get training provided to an employee to work at a heigh of 10ft?
SJ - 1-Sep-17 @ 12:00 AM
@DriverJohn - is sounds like a valid reason to me. HSE would say all people using work equipment or supervising / managing its use should be sufficiently competent to do so safely. This includes medical fitness and physical aptitude.
RoB - 3-Jul-17 @ 10:54 AM
My manager asked me if I drive the same forklift, to which I said yes. He told me not to use the same forklift because the chairs would break (I wight 130kg), so I this a genuine safety or regulation concern or something else. Could anyone inform me on this issue.
DriverJohn - 2-Jul-17 @ 11:30 AM
Can employers let staff that don't have a license or any training on a reach truckdrive or load unload stock in and outside the warehouse
chris - 19-Jan-17 @ 12:24 AM
Szymon S - Your Question:
If my employer bought me safety equipment, and after a few months I decided to leave, how do I leave that job if I am an apprentice and do I get to keep the safety equipment?

Our Response:
It is highly unlikely you would be allowed to keep the safety equipment. In fact you may wish to look in the terms and conditions of your contract to see whether you may have to pay any course fee charges etc if you leave the apprenticeship before you have completed the course.
WorkplaceSafetyAdvice - 9-Jan-17 @ 12:02 PM
If my employer bought me safety equipment, and after a few months i decided to leave, how do i leave that job if i am an apprentice and do i get to keep the safety equipment?
Szymon S - 8-Jan-17 @ 3:04 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Monique
    Re: Kitchen Workplace Safety
    Hey, my boyfriend works in a kitchen in a pub and the manager has recently been making him work by himself doing long shifts 10-12…
    17 February 2018
  • WorkplaceSafetyAdvice
    Re: Kitchen Workplace Safety
    Arch - Your Question:My daughter who is 16years old works in a tearoom/restaurant at weekends & last Sunday she was serving some…
    16 February 2018
  • Arch
    Re: Kitchen Workplace Safety
    My daughter who is 16years old works in a tearoom/restaurant at weekends & last Sunday she was serving some customers with a tray of 2…
    15 February 2018
  • Hammy
    Re: Dealing with Employee Theft
    Looking for advice. I work in retail and a friend/colleague I know has been shoplifting things/ taking bags home with merchandise/…
    15 February 2018
  • WorkplaceSafetyAdvice
    Re: Legal Minimum Temperature in a Warehouse?
    Tink - Your Question:Hi, I work in an opticians inside a large supermarket. My colleagues have bern provided with…
    13 February 2018
  • WorkplaceSafetyAdvice
    Re: How Many Breaks am I Entitled to?
    alanstuart100 - Your Question:My wife works 3 x 12 hour shift's.One hour is unpaid and her employer splits this hour into…
    13 February 2018
  • Maurie
    Re: Legal Minimum Temperature in a Warehouse?
    I work in a place that processes meat (chix) upper management says that it has to be 32* although it's been 40+…
    12 February 2018
  • Tink
    Re: Legal Minimum Temperature in a Warehouse?
    Hi, i work in an opticians inside a large supermarket. My colleagues have bern provided with an uniform and…
    12 February 2018
  • WorkplaceSafetyAdvice
    Re: How Many Breaks am I Entitled to?
    Afsha - Your Question:I work 2 days as a nursery nurse. I used to work 9 till 6pm with 15 minutes break and 1hour…
    12 February 2018
  • AsiaM
    Re: Dealing with Employee Theft
    @Zaki - can you offer to replace the money? If you do, your employer might not press charges, but it is a chance you would have to…
    12 February 2018
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the WorkplaceSafetyAdvice website. Please read our Disclaimer.