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Working at Heights Regulations 2005

Every year people die and thousands suffer a serious injury as a result of a fall from height in the workplace or by objects falling from a height.

Falls from height are the most common cause of fatal injury and the second most common cause of major injury to employees, accounting for 15% of all such injuries. All industry sectors are exposed to the risks presented by this hazard although the level of incidence varies considerably.

The above regulations came in to force on 6 April 2005 and replace all the earlier regulations about working from height.

Work at height is work in any place (including at or below ground level) where a person could be injured by falling from it. Work includes moving around at a place of work (except by a staircase in a permanent place of work).

The regulations:

  • Require every employer to ensure that work at height is properly planned, appropriately supervised and is carried out in a manner which so far as is reasonably practicable safe and that the planning includes the selection of work equipment in accordance with the regulations
  • Require employers to ensure that persons at work are competent or supervised by competent persons
  • Set out the steps to be taken to avoid risk from work at height
  • Impose duties in relating to the selection of work equipment and impose duties in relation to particular types of work equipment such as platforms or personal fall protection systems
  • Impose duties for avoiding the risks from fragile surfaces, falling objects and danger areas
  • Impose duties on persons who are at work.
Further information and guidance can be found on the HSE web site at and in the HSE publication 'The Work at Height Regulations 2005. A Brief Guide to the Regulations'.

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