Working at heights training courses help to reduce the risk of major injuries

working at heights training in UKWorking at height still one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries. Common

cases include falls from ladders and through fragile surfaces. ‘Work at height’ means work

in any place where, if there were no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance

liable to cause personal injury (for example a fall through a fragile roof).

This section shows how employers can take simple, practical measures to reduce the risk of

any of their workers falling while working at height.

Make a well planned work

You should ensure work is appropriately planned, regulated and carried out by competent people

with the skills, knowledge and experience to do the job. You should utilize the right sort of

equipment for working at height.

Take a sensible approach when considering precautions. Low-risk, relatively straightforward

tasks will require less effort when it comes to planning and there may be some low-risk

situations where common sense tells you no particular precautions are necessary.

Safety measures

First assess the risks. Factors to weigh up include the height of the task, the duration and

frequency, and the condition of the surface being worked on.

Before working at height work through these simple steps:

ï‚· avoid work at height where it’s reasonably practicable to do so

ï‚· minimise the distance and consequences of a fall, by using the right type of equipment

where the risk cannot be eliminated

ï‚· prevent falls using either an existing place of work that is already safe or the right type

of equipment

For each step, always consider measures that protect everyone at risk (collective protection)

before measures that only protect the individual (personal protection).

Collective protection is equipment that does not require the person working at height to act for it

to be effective. Examples are permanent or temporary guardrails, scissor lifts and tower


Personal protection is equipment that requires the individual to act for it to be effective. An

example is putting on a safety harness correctly and connecting it, with an energy-absorbing

lanyard, to a suitable anchor point.

Working at heights training courses help to reduce the risk of major injuries

Dos and don’ts of working at height


ï‚· as much work as possible from the ground

ï‚· provide protection from falling objects

ï‚· take precautions when working on or near fragile surfaces

ï‚· ensure workers can get safely to and from where they work at height

ï‚· ensure equipment is suitable, stable and strong enough for the job, maintained and

checked regularly

ï‚· consider emergency evacuation and rescue procedures


ï‚· overreach on ladders or stepladders

 overload ladders – consider the equipment or materials workers are carrying before

working at height. Check the pictogram or label on the ladder for information

ï‚· rest a ladder against weak upper surfaces, eg glazing or plastic gutters

 let anyone who is not competent (who doesn’t have the skills, knowledge and experience

to do the job) work at height.

ï‚· use ladders or stepladders for strenuous or heavy tasks, only use them for light work of

short duration (a maximum of 30 minutes at a time)