Working at Height

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Working at height policies

Work at height means work in any place where, if precautions were not taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. You are working at height if you:

  • work above ground/floor level
  • could fall from an edge, through an opening or fragile surface or
  • could fall from ground level into an opening in a floor or a hole in the ground

Work at height does not include a slip or a trip on the level, as a fall from height has to involve a fall from one level to a lower level, nor does it include walking up and down a permanent staircase in a building.

The purpose of The Work at Height Regulations 2005 is to prevent death and injury caused by a fall from height. If you are an employer or you control work at height (for example facilities managers or building owners who may contract others to work at height) the Regulations apply to you.

Employers and those in control of any work at height activity must make sure work is properly planned, supervised and carried out by competent people. This includes using the right type of equipment for working at height. Low-risk, relatively straightforward tasks will require less effort when it comes to planning.

Employers and those in control must first assess the risks. 

Employees have general legal duties to take reasonable care of themselves and others who may be affected by their actions, and to co-operate with their employer to enable their health and safety duties and requirements to be complied with.

HSE have produced guidance to help you comply with the law, see Working at height: A brief guide (PDF)– Portable Document Format for more information.

Working at height FAQ's

What is the minimum height for working at height?

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 protect staff and others against risks to their health and safety while working at height. Previous regulations defined “Work at Height” as being at least two metres high above ground level

Do you need training to work at height?

Anyone who works at height in any place, including a place at or below ground level, is required to undertake training to prove that they are competent and safe in their work

What is the maximum height you can work from a ladder?

What is the maximum height a ladder can be used? There is no maximum height for using a ladder. However, where a ladder rises 9 metres or more above its base, landing areas or rest platforms should be provided at suitable intervals

Why choose GR Safety Solutions for working at height assessments?

  • Our professional health & safety consultants are available 24/7 to advise and support you on any health & safety issues.
  • We’re highly qualified to carry out your risk assessments for you
  • We can act as your competent person
  • We create health & safety policies, procedures and management systems bespoke to your business
  • We can help you achieve and promote a positive health & safety culture
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Working at height risk assessments

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