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Health & Safety

Working at Height | Revised Guidance

The Health and Safety Executive has recently published revised guidance for working at height. The revised guidance sets out in clear, simple terms what to do and what not to do but does not make any changes to the Work at Height Regulations 2005 themselves.

The Key Changes

  • Simple dos and don’ts for working at height ensuring people are clear on what the law requires
  • Corrects some health and safety myths, such as ladders cannot be used. They can!
  • Gives targeted advice for businesses in particular sectors
  • Clarifies for workers their own responsibilities for working safely.

Statistics

More than 40 people are killed and 4,000 suffer major injuries every year. It is therefore important for work at height to get it right.

Practical tips – minimise the risks of working at height

Before working at height, follow these simple steps:

  • If you can reasonably avoid working at height do. Balance the risk against the measures to control the risk (including cost, time, trouble and effort).
  • Where work at height cannot be easily avoided, prevent falls using an existing safe work area or appropriate equipment, for example a tower scaffold or mobile elevated working platform.
  • If falls cannot be prevented, minimise the distance and potential effect of a fall.
  • Always consider measures that protect everyone at risk (collective protection) before measures protecting only an individual (personal protection).

Read the revised guidance and visit the HSE microsite for more details.

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