Work at Height Regulations

Work at Height Regulations 2005

These regulations came into effect on 6 April 2005.

The Regulations apply to all work at height where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury.

The Regulations place duties on the University to ensure:

  • all work at height is properly planned and organised;
  • those involved in work at height are competent;
  • the risks from work at height are assessed and appropriate work equipment is selected and used
  • the risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled
  • equipment for work at height is properly inspected and maintained.

The Regulations include Schedules giving requirements for existing places of work and means of access for work at height, collective fall prevention (e .g . guardrails and working platforms), collective fall arrest (e.g. nets, airbags etc), personal fall protection (e.g. work restraints, fall arrest and rope access) and ladders.

There is a simple hierarchy for managing and selecting equipment for work at height. University staff must:

  • avoid work at height where they can
  • use work equipment or other measures to prevent falls where they cannot avoid working at height
  • 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.

What does this mean to the University?

This legislation potentially affects all schools / service directorates at the University where staff ‘work at height’. This might be someone in Property Management working on roof areas or in Macrobert working on lighting/ scenery gantries, but also now includes someone in an academic division who retrieves files from a high shelf. All work at height must be identified and risk assessments carried out. Where existing risk assessments are available for work at height, these must now be reviewed to take account of the new duties and hierarchy for managing work at height described above.

(Note for Sports Studies - The Regulations will not apply to the provision of paid instruction or leadership in caving or climbing by way of sport, recreation, team building or similar activities).