How to comply with the new Working at Height Regulations


Why do we need to introduce these Regs?

The Working at Height Regulations are being introduced by the Health and Safety Commission as a response to the European Directive on Temporary Working at Heights (2001/45/EC) which should be implemented by member states by July 2004 This consolidates the working at height requirements found in the CHSWR 96.

Interpretation (Reg 2) What is “Working at Height”
Work in any place, including a place in: • The course of obtaining access to or egress from any place except by a staircase in a permanent workplace or • At or below ground level from which a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury and any reference to working at height will include access to or egress from such places whilst at work

Working at Height - what is and what isn’t? Working at height • Working on a scaffold or MEWP • Working on the back of a lorry • Using cradles or ropes to gain access • Climbing permanent structures • Working close to excavations, cellars or other openings. • Staging or trestles (concerts filming etc)
Not working at height • Activities carried out by private individuals. • Trips and slips on the level surface • Permanent stairways (unless under structural maintenance) • Working in a building ( with multiple floors where there is no risk of falling (except if the staff use a stepladder to change the bulbs within the office)

Who does the regulations apply too? (Reg 3) The requirements imposed The requirements imposed on an employer by these on an employer by these Regulations shall also apply Regulations shall apply in relation to – in relation to workSelf-employed person in By an employee of his or relation to work – by him or person under his By any other person under control; and his control, to the Any other person other than extent of his control; self-employed person, in
self-employed person, in relation to work by a person under his control, and to the extent of his control.

Reg 4 Organisation and Planning 4-1 Every employer shall ensure that work at height is – i. Properly planned; ii. Appropriately supervised; and iii. Carried out in a manner which is so far as reasonably practicable safe iv. and that its planning includes selection of work equipment in accordance with regulation 7 of the WAHR. WAHR 4-2 Planning includes planning for emergencies 4-3 Every employer shall ensure that working at height is carried out only when the weather conditions do not jeopardise the health and safety of persons involved with the work

Guidance for Regulation 4

• Assess the risks to decide how to work safely

Risk Assessment
Subject to be assessed (Hazard, task or premises)

Working at height on stage trussing, (construction, suspension of equipment Controls Risk Evaluation
Severity 5 5 4 4 Risk Rating 10 20 8 4 c) d) a) Riggers at height Riggers at ground level Other trades performers
Persons identified as being exposed to the hazards (incl numbers)

and dismantling) Significant identified hazards

Likelihood 1. Slips Trips and falls from Individual rigging plan to follow spot positions, trusses ensure as much construction and access equipment and installation carried out at 1 2 (ladders & MEWP’s) ground level before hoisting trusses.   2 4 All staging equipment and 2. Falling of persons and access equipment inspected at 3 2 equipment from overhead positions onto persons below. regular intervals for damage. 1 Only competent and physically 4   3. Injury due to long periods fit staff allowed to work at of suspension following fall height. Secondary safety bonding arrest. placed all suspended  (suspension trauma) equipment. Persons working at height wear 4. Weather, location and fall arrest harnesses, safety environmental conditions footwear (non slip) during working at height . No rigging to take place during inclement weather.

No. 12


4 24 30

Duration a) b) c) d) 2- 4hrs 8 hrs 8 hrs 4 hrs

Frequency 2x daily Daily Daily Daily

Risk Assessment
Action planning to improve risk on this assessment Suggested implantation dates Projected risk score after improvements are implemented
Likelihood Severity Projected risk rating

1. Increased supervision of the ground area below working at height positions. The use of portable light weight barriers and signs to cordon off areas below working at height positions Compulsory wearing of head protection whilst working at height or at ground level 2. Development of emergency rescue procedures , trained staff, and supply emergency rescue equipment


1 2

2 2

5 3

10 6



Immediate Management Ownership Details
Date of assessment Signature of Assessor Signature of Duty holder Date Review date

Guidance for Regulation 4
• • • • • • • Assess the risks to decide how to work safely Follow the hierarchy for safe working at height Plan and organise the work properly not forgetting to taking into account weather and emergency provisions Competency of those working at height The correct use of work equipment Manage the risks from working near or on fragile surfaces and manage the risk of falling objects Inspect and maintain the work equipment to be used and carry out inspections of the place where the work is to be carried out (not forgetting to include access and egress)

Competence (Reg 5.)
Every employer shall ensure that no person engages in any activity including organisation, planning and supervision in relation to work at height or work equipment for use in such work unless he or she is competent to do so or, if a person is being trained, that the person receiving the training is supervised by a competent persons. Guidance (or how the Regulations define competence with regard to WAH) A combination of appropriate, practical and theoretical knowledge, training and experience, which collectively should enable a person to: i. Undertake safely their specified activity at their level of responsibility; ii. Understand fully any potential risks related to the work activity (tasks and equipment) in which they are engaged; and iii. Detect any defects or omissions and recognise any implications for health and safety with the aim of specifying appropriate remedial actions that may be required in relation to their particular work activity. This could include refusing to do a particular task if the potential risk is assessed as being too great.

Reg 6.Avoidance of risk from Work at Height

Every employer will need to make sure that any work is not carried out at height where it is reasonably practicable to carry out the work safely by other means

Where work will have to carried out at height, every employer shall take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury

Mitigate the effects

Every employer shall take suitable and sufficient measures to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall

At all stages the collective protective measures should always have precedence over personal protective equipment

Reg 7.General principles for selection of work equipment for working at height

7.2 The employer must select work equipment for work at height whicha) Has characteristics including dimensions which are appropriate to the nature of the work to be performed and any foreseeable loadings and allow passage without risk. Is in other respects the most suitable work equipment having regard in particular to the purposes specified above in the previous regulation (Reg 6)


Reg 8. Requirements for particular work equipment
The employer shall ensure that, in the case ofa) Guard rail, toe board, barrier or similar means of protection – schedule 2 is complied with. b) A working platform. 3. Part 1 of Schedule 3 is complied with. 4. Where scaffolding is provided, part 2 of schedule 3 is also complied with c) A net, airbag or other collective safeguard for arresting falls which is not part of a personal fall protection system – Schedule 4 is complied with; d) A work positioning system – part 2 of schedule 5 is also complied with c) Rope access and positioning techniques – part 3 of schedule 5 is complied with; Any personal fall protection system – part 4 of schedule 5 is also complied with; A work restraint system – Part 5 of schedule 5 is complied with; and A ladder – Schedule 6 is complied with.


e) f)

Guidance on Ladders
No matter what type of ladder – (step, suspended, extension, Zarges, fixed etc.) and regardless of their use, they will need to meet the requirements of WAHR . It must also be remembered that they are classified as work equipment under PUWER 98 and as such must be suitable for the for the task. A risk assessment will be needed for all ladder work and the assessment should be proportionate to the risk. Use “Ladders should only be used as work equipment, either for access/egress or as a place from which to to work where a risk assessment shows that the use of other work equipment is not justified because of the low risk and the short duration of the job or unalterable features of the site” Working from a ladder “ a secure hand hold should be available” means that the user can grasp an upper rung (round) or handrail on the ladder. It does not mean that the user is expected to be holding the rung or handrail at all times as this would clearly make it impossible to carry out many tasks for which two hands are needed.

Fragile Surfaces (Reg 9)
The employer must take suitable and sufficient steps to prevent any person at work falling through any fragile surface. And to achieve the requirement of the above paragraph, the employer shall ensure thati. No person whilst at work should be allowed to pass across, work on or from, a fragile surface where it is reasonably practicable to carry out that work safely and under ergonomically acceptable conditions unless there is no other method of doing so safely; ii. No person whilst at work should be allowed to pass across, work on or from, a fragile surface unless there are suitable and sufficient platforms, coverings or other similar means of supporting the loadings expected for the task are in place; iii. No person whilst at work should be allowed to pass across or work near to a fragile surface unless there are provided suitable and sufficient guard rails, coverings or any other methods that would, as far as reasonably practicable, prevent a person falling through the fragile surface; and iv. Where a person may pass across or work near a fragile surface, prominent warning signs are, so far as reasonably practicable, fixed to the approach to the area where the fragile surface is located. If, after all the above are implemented, the risk of falling through the fragile surface still remains, the employer must provide suitable and sufficient means for arresting his fall, again, so far as is reasonably practicable.

Falling Objects (Reg 10)
10-1 The employer must take reasonably practicable steps to make suitable and sufficient arrangements to prevent the fall of any materials or objects. 10-2 If it is not reasonably practicable to comply with 10-1 above then the employer will need to take suitable and sufficient steps to prevent any person being struck materials or objects, which are likely to cause injury. 10-3 The employer must ensure that no material is tipped or thrown from height if it is likely to cause injury. 10-4 And the employer shall ensure that materials and objects are stored in such a way as to prevent risk to any person arising out a collapse, overturning or movement of those materials or objects.

Danger Areas (Reg 11)
11. The employer must ensure that: • If due to the nature of the work, the workplace contains and area in which there is a risk of any person falling a distance or being struck by a falling object which is liable to cause injury then the workplace is, as far as reasonably practicable, equipped with devises which will prevent unauthorised access; and • That this area be clearly indicated.

Inspection of Work Equipment (Reg 12)
This regulation will only apply to work equipment to which regulation 8 and schedules 2 and 6 will apply 12-2 Every employer must ensure that, where the safety of work equipment (including equipment to which paragraph 12-3 applies) depends on how it is installed or assembled, it is not used after installation or assembly in any position unless it has been inspected in that position. 12-3 Every employer shall ensure that work equipment is inspected: i. At suitable intervals; and ii. Each time that exceptional circumstance, which are liable to jeopardise the safety of any of circumst the work equipment have occurred. 12-4 If a scaffold is built for whatever purpose and a person could fall more than 2 metres, then that scaffold must not be used in any position unless the scaffold has been inspected in the previous 7 days. 12-5 No work equipment: (other than lifting equipment, which will have its own requirement under Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations, LOLER) i. Leaves the employers undertaking or ii. If obtained from another undertaking is used in his place of work unless it is accompanied by physical evidence that the last inspection required to be carried out under this set of regulations, has been carried out.

Inspection of Work Equipment (Reg 12 cont…)
12-6 The employer shall ensure that the result of an inspection under this set of Regulations is recorded and kept until the next inspection is carried out. 12-7 A person carrying out an inspection of work equipment to which paragraph 4 applies (scaffolds) shalli. Before the end of the work period which the inspection is carried out prepare a report containing the particulars in schedule 7 (see schedule 7) ii. Within 24 hours of completing the inspection, provide a report or a copy (electronic if wished) to the person on whose behalf the inspection has been carried out.

Inspection of places of work at height (Reg 13)

13. Every employer shall ensure that the surface and every parapet,

permanent rail or any other such fall protection measure of all places of working at height are inspected on each occasion before the place of work is used.

Duties of persons at work (Reg 14)

14-1 Every person must report to the persons that are in charge of their work and activities, any defects or activity relating to work at height, which that person knows to endanger the safety of his or herself or the safety of others. 14-2 Every person shall use any work equipment or safety device provided to him for working at height by his employer in accordance withi. Any training in the use of the work equipment or device that has been received; and ii. Any instructions regarding the equipment provided by the employer or supplier of the equipment

In summary – The Working at Heights Regulations require
You carry out a risk assessment for ALL work carried out at height and put into place arrangements for: Eliminating or minimising risks from working at height; Safe systems of work for organising and performing work at height; Safe systems for the selecting suitable work equipment; and Safe systems for protecting people from the consequences of working at height.

That’s what you need to do to comply with the Working at Heights Regulations 2004.

Any Questions?

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful