Working 'at height' involves work in a place where a person could be injured falling from it, even if it is at or below ground level. In 2013/14 to 2015/16 in the UK, an annual average of 37000 injuries at work were a result of a fall from height.

Examples of 'Work at Height' can include:

  • use of access equipment (a work platform, scaffold, or ladder)
  • use of inappropriate access equipment, such as standing on a lab stool
  • work on a roof surface or exposed edge
  • work next to openings such as cellars or excavations

Work at Height must be planned, organised, supervised, and carried out by competent persons. If there is any uncertainty over competency, please contact the OHES Department for advice.

When considering work at height, apply the hierarchy of control:

work at height

Where work at height is required, ensure:

  • all work at height is properly planned and organised;
  • all work at height takes account of weather conditions that could endanger health and safety;
  • those involved in work at height are trained and competent;
  • the place where work at height is done is safe;
  • equipment for work at height is appropriately inspected;
  • the risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled; and
  • the risks from falling objects are properly controlled

RGU specific guidance has been developed on the selection and use of ladders Guidance Note - Ladder Selection and Inspection (PDF 238KB)

Additional information on Work at Height is available from the Health and Safety Executive

Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0