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Working at Height

How to comply with the new Regulations

Mark Sutton
For SAFEHANDS Health & Safety Consultants Ltd

Why introduce these New


Biggest Killer 67 Fatal Accidents


3884 Major Accidents 2003/04

The single biggest cause of Workplace


One of the biggest causes of major


2/3 of all major injuries caused by low


Why are these rules important?

These regulations have been made to

prevent the Deaths and Injuries caused
each year by falls at work

They REPLACE all the earlier regulations

about working at height and implement
European Council Directive 2001/45/EC
concerning safety and health for use of
equipment for work at height (the
Temporary Work at Height Directive).

What is Work at Height?

Regulation 2

Explains for the purposes of the

Regulations, certain words and
phrases that will crop up
throughout the document which
unless defined could be
interpreted differently from one
industry to another.

Work 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

Working at height

Working on a scaffold or

Working on the back of a


Using cradles or ropes to

gain access

Climbing permanent
structures such as gantries

Working close to
excavations, cellars or other

Staging or trestles (concerts

filming etc)

Not working at height

Activities carried out by private

individuals (even if the equipment
used is from work).

Trips and slips on the level


Falls on permanent stairways

(unless under structural

Working in a building (e.g. office)

with multiple floors where there is
no risk of falling (except if the
staff use a stepladder to change
the bulbs within the office)

Access and egress

Working Platform

Includes ascent and descent

Any platform used as a place of

work, or as a means of access to
or egress from a place of work.
Any scaffold, suspended scaffold,
cradle, mobile platform, trestle,
gangway, gantry or stairway
which is so used
But does not include a building or
permanent structure

Work equipment



Any machinery, appliance,

apparatus, tool or installation for
use at work and includes
anything to which Regulation 8
and schedules 2 to 6 of the WAHR

Includes a fixed ladder and a step


Includes rope, chain or webbing

person engages in activity, including

organisation, planning or
supervision, in relation to work at
height or work equipment for use in
such work unless he is competent to
do so or, if being trained, is being
supervised by a competent person


A fall prevention, work restraint,

work positioning, fall arrest or
rescue system other than a system
in which the only safeguards are
collective safeguards or:

Rope access and positioning

(terminology adopted from BS
7985:2002 Code of Practice for the
use of rope access methods for
industrial purposes)

Personal fall protection

Fragile surface

A surface which would be liable to

fail if any reasonably foreseeable
loading were to be applied to it

What do the Schedules to the regulations


Schedule 1
Existing places of work and means of access for work at
Schedule 2
Collective fall prevention (e.g. guard rails and toe boards)
Schedule 3
Working platforms
Schedule 4
Collective fall arrest (e.g. nets, airbags etc)
Schedule 5
Personal fall protection
Schedule 6
Ladders and step ladders
Schedule 7
Inspection reports
Schedule 8
Revocations (cancellations, dissolution)

Do the Rules apply to you?

The Regulations apply to all work at height where

there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury.
They place duties on employers, the self-employed,
and any person who controls the work of others.

If you are an employee or working under someone

else's control, regulation 14 says you must:
Report any safety hazard to them.
Use the equipment supplied (including safety
devices) properly, following any training and
instructions (unless you think that would be
unsafe, in which case you should seek further
instructions before continuing).

What you must do if you as an


Duty holders must:

Avoid work at height where they can

Use work equipment or other measures
to prevent falls where they cannot avoid
working at height; and
Where they cannot eliminate the risk of
a fall, use work equipment or other
measures to minimise the distance and
consequences of a fall should one occur

Duty Holders Responsibilities

The regulations require

All work at height is properly planned & organised
All work at height takes account of weather conditions that
could endanger health & safety
Those involved in work at height are trained and
The place where work at height is done is safe
Equipment for work at height is appropriately inspected
and controlled
The risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled; and
The risk from falling objects are properly controlled.

Just remember a risk assessment is to be written to control

the hazards.

Do the Work at Height Regulations ban

the use of Ladders?

Short answer for that is NO!

But they require that ladders should
only be considered where a risk
assessment has shown that the use
of other more suitable work
equipment is not appropriate
because of the low risk, and short
duration of the task or consideration
of where the work is located

A few Correct ways of

Working at Height

Why is this correct?


A piece of Equipment that can

be used

Bosun`s Chair

Any Questions?
If you are unsure about anything
now, it will be far to late to come and
ask me when you are 30ft up or 30ft
below the surface and you don't have
a Harness


There is no such thing as a stupid or

daft Health and Safety Question!