The Work at Height Regulations 2005
© Crown Copyright 2005
Reproduced under the terms of the Click-Use Licence
The Secretary of State, in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by sections 15(1), (2), (3)(a), (5)(b), (6)(a) and 82(3)(a) of, and paragraphs 1(1), (2) and (3), 9, 11, 14, 15(1) and 16 of Schedule 3 to, the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 ("the 1974 Act") and for the purpose of giving effect without modifications to proposals submitted to him by the Health and Safety Commission under section 11(2)(d) of the 1974 Act, after the carrying out by the said Commission of consultations in accordance with section 50(3) of that Act, hereby makes the following Regulations:
Citation and commencement
1. These Regulations may be cited as the Work at Height Regulations 2005 and shall come into force on 6th April 2005.
2. - (1) In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires -
(b) rope access and positioning techniques;
(b) obtaining access to or egress from such place while at work, except by a staircase in a permanent workplace,
where, if measures required by these Regulations were not taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury;
(b) includes any scaffold, suspended scaffold, cradle, mobile platform, trestle, gangway, gantry and stairway which is so used.
(2) Any reference in these Regulations to the keeping of a report or copy of a report or plan shall include reference to its being kept in a form -
(b) which is secure from loss or unauthorised interference.
(b) outside Great Britain as sections 1 to 59 and 80 to 82 of the 1974 Act apply by virtue of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (Application outside Great Britain) Order 2001.
(2) The requirements imposed by these Regulations on an employer shall apply in relation to work -
(b) by any other person under his control, to the extent of his control.
(3) The requirements imposed by these Regulations on an employer shall also apply to -
(ii) by a person under his control, to the extent of his control; and
(b) to any person other than a self-employed person, in relation to work by a person under his control, to the extent of his control.
(4) Regulations 4 to 16 of these Regulations shall not apply to or in relation to -
(ii) are not liable to expose persons at work other than the master and crew to a risk to their safety;
(b) a place specified in regulation 7(6) of the Docks Regulations 1988 where persons are engaged in dock operations;
(5) Regulation 11 of these Regulations shall not apply to an installation while regulation 12 of the Offshore Installations and Wells (Design and Construction, etc) Regulations 1996 apply to it.
(b) "climbing" includes traversing, abseiling or scrambling over natural terrain or man-made structures;
(c) "ship" includes every description of vessel used in navigation, other than a ship which forms part of Her Majesty's Navy.
Organisation and planning
(b) appropriately supervised; and
(c) carried out in a manner which is so far as is reasonably practicable safe,
and that its planning includes the selection of work equipment in accordance with regulation 7.
(ii) (in the case of obtaining access or egress) using an existing means,
which complies with Schedule 1, where it is reasonably practicable to carry it out safely and under appropriate ergonomic conditions; and
(5) Where the measures taken under paragraph (4) do not eliminate the risk of a fall occurring, every employer shall -
(ii) where it is not reasonably practicable to minimise the distance, the consequences,
of a fall; and
Selection of work equipment for work at height
(b) take account of -
(ii) in the case of work equipment for access and egress, the distance to be negotiated;
(iii) the distance and consequences of a potential fall;
(iv) the duration and frequency of use;
(v) the need for easy and timely evacuation and rescue in an emergency;
(vi) any additional risk posed by the use, installation or removal of that work equipment or by evacuation and rescue from it; and
(vii) the other provisions of these Regulations.
(2) An employer shall select work equipment for work at height which -
(ii) allow passage without risk; and
(b) is in other respects the most suitable work equipment, having regard in particular to the purposes specified in regulation 6.
Requirements for particular work equipment
(b) a working platform -
(ii) where scaffolding is provided, Part 2 of Schedule 3 is also complied with;
(c) a net, airbag or other collective safeguard for arresting falls which is not part of a personal fall protection system, Schedule 4 is complied with;
(ii) in the case of rope access and positioning techniques, Part 3 of Schedule 5;
(iii) in the case of a fall arrest system, Part 4 of Schedule 5;
(iv) in the case of a work restraint system, Part 5 of Schedule 5,
are complied with; and
(b) where a risk of a person at work falling remains despite the measures taken under the preceding provisions of this regulation, take suitable and sufficient measures to minimise the distances and consequences of his fall.
(3) Where any person at work may pass across or near, or work on, from or near, a fragile surface, every employer shall ensure that -
(b) where that is not reasonably practicable, such persons are made aware of it by other means.
(4) Paragraph (3) shall not apply where members of the police, fire, ambulance or other emergency services are acting in an emergency.
(ii) being struck by a falling object,
which is liable to cause personal injury, the workplace is so far as is reasonably practicable equipped with devices preventing unauthorised persons from entering such area; and
Inspection of work equipment
(b) each time that exceptional circumstances which are liable to jeopardise the safety of the work equipment have occurred,
to ensure that health and safety conditions are maintained and that any deterioration can be detected and remedied in good time.
(b) from which a person could fall 2 metres or more,
is not used in any position unless it has been inspected in that position or, in the case of a mobile working platform, inspected on the site, within the previous 7 days.
(b) if obtained from the undertaking of another person, is used in his undertaking,
unless it is accompanied by physical evidence that the last inspection required to be carried out under this regulation has been carried out.
(b) within 24 hours of completing the inspection, provide the report or a copy thereof to the person on whose behalf the inspection was carried out.
(8) An employer receiving a report or copy under paragraph (7) shall keep the report or a copy thereof -
(b) thereafter at an office of his for 3 months.
(9) Where a thorough examination has been made of lifting equipment under regulation 9 of LOLER -
(b) the making under regulation 10 of LOLER of a report of such examination shall for the purposes of paragraph (6) of this regulation be treated as the recording of the inspection.
(10) In this regulation"inspection", subject to paragraph (9) -
(b) includes any testing appropriate for those purposes,
and "inspected" shall be construed accordingly.
(b) the instructions respecting that use which have been provided to him by that employer or person in compliance with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon that employer or person by or under the relevant statutory provisions.
Exemption by the Health and Safety Executive
(b) any premises or class of premises;
(c) any work equipment; or
(d) any work activity,
from the requirements imposed by paragraph 3(a) and (c) of Schedule 2, and any such exemption may be granted subject to conditions and to a limit of time and may be revoked at any time by a certificate in writing.
(b) any other requirements imposed by or under any enactments which apply to the case,
it is satisfied that the health and safety of persons who are likely to be affected by the exemption will not be prejudiced in consequence of it.
Repeal of section 24 of the Factories Act 1961
Every existing place of work or means of access or egress at height shall -
(b) where applicable, rest on a stable, sufficiently strong surface;
(c) be of sufficient dimensions to permit the safe passage of persons and the safe use of any plant or materials required to be used and to provide a safe working area having regard to the work to be carried out there;
(d) possess suitable and sufficient means for preventing a fall;
(e) possess a surface which has no gap -
(ii) through which any material or object could fall and injure a person; or
(iii) giving rise to other risk of injury to any person, unless measures have been taken to protect persons against such risk;
(f) be so constructed and used, and maintained in such condition, as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable -
(ii) any person being caught between it and any adjacent structure;
(g) where it has moving parts, be prevented by appropriate devices from moving inadvertently during work at height.
1. Unless the context otherwise requires, any reference in this Schedule to means of protection is to a guard-rail, toe-board, barrier or similar collective means of protection.
2. Means of protection shall -
(b) be so placed, secured and used as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that they do not become accidentally displaced; and
(c) be so placed as to prevent, so far as is practicable, the fall of any person, or of any material or object, from any place of work.
In relation to work at height involved in construction work -
(b) toe-boards shall be suitable and sufficient to prevent the fall of any person, or any material or object, from any place of work; and
(c) any intermediate guard-rail or similar means of protection shall be positioned so that any gap between it and other means of protection does not exceed 470 millimetres.
Any structure or part of a structure which supports means of protection or to which means of protection are attached shall be of sufficient strength and suitable for the purpose of such support or attachment.
1. In this Schedule, "supporting structure" means any structure used for the purpose of supporting a working platform and includes any plant used for that purpose.
Condition of surfaces
2. Any surface upon which any supporting structure rests shall be stable, of sufficient strength and of suitable composition safely to support the supporting structure, the working platform and any loading intended to be placed on the working platform.
Stability of supporting structure
3. Any supporting structure shall -
(b) in the case of a wheeled structure, be prevented by appropriate devices from moving inadvertently during work at height;
(c) in other cases, be prevented from slipping by secure attachment to the bearing surface or to another structure, provision of an effective anti-slip device or by other means of equivalent effectiveness;
(d) be stable while being erected, used and dismantled; and
(e) when altered or modified, be so altered or modified as to ensure that it remains stable.
Stability of working platforms
(b) be so erected and used as to ensure that its components do not become accidentally displaced so as to endanger any person;
(c) when altered or modified, be so altered or modified as to ensure that it remains stable; and
(d) be dismantled in such a way as to prevent accidental displacement.
Safety on working platforms
(b) possess a suitable surface and, in particular, be so constructed that the surface of the working platform has no gap -
(ii) through which any material or object could fall and injure a person; or
(iii) giving rise to other risk of injury to any person, unless measures have been taken to protect persons against such risk; and
(c) be so erected and used, and maintained in such condition, as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable -
(ii) any person being caught between the working platform and any adjacent structure.
Additional requirements for scaffolding
7. Strength and stability calculations for scaffolding shall be carried out unless -
(b) it is assembled in conformity with a generally recognised standard configuration.
Depending on the complexity of the scaffolding selected, an assembly, use and dismantling plan shall be drawn up by a competent person. This may be in the form of a standard plan, supplemented by items relating to specific details of the scaffolding in question.
(b) safety during the assembly, dismantling or alteration of the scaffolding concerned;
(c) measures to prevent the risk of persons, materials or objects falling;
(d) safety measures in the event of changing weather conditions which could adversely affect the safety of the scaffolding concerned;
(e) permissible loadings;
(f) any other risks which the assembly, dismantling or alteration of the scaffolding may entail.
1. Any reference in this Schedule to a safeguard is to a collective safeguard for arresting falls.
2. A safeguard shall be used only if -
(b) the use of other, safer work equipment is not reasonably practicable; and
(c) a sufficient number of available persons have received adequate training specific to the safeguard, including rescue procedures.
A safeguard shall be suitable and of sufficient strength to arrest safely the fall of any person who is liable to fall.
(b) in the case of an airbag, landing mat or similar safeguard, be stable; and
(c) in the case of a safeguard which distorts in arresting a fall, afford sufficient clearance.
Suitable and sufficient steps shall be taken to ensure, so far as practicable, that in the event of a fall by any person the safeguard does not itself cause injury to that person.
1. A personal fall protection system shall be used only if -
(ii) the use of other, safer work equipment is not reasonably practicable; and
(b) the user and a sufficient number of available persons have received adequate training specific to the operations envisaged, including rescue procedures.
A personal fall protection system shall -
(b) where necessary, fit the user;
(c) be correctly fitted;
(d) be designed to minimise injury to the user and, where necessary, be adjusted to prevent the user falling or slipping from it, should a fall occur; and
(e) be so designed, installed and used as to prevent unplanned or uncontrolled movement of the user.
A personal fall protection system designed for use with an anchor shall be securely attached to at least one anchor, and each anchor and the means of attachment thereto shall be suitable and of sufficient strength and stability for the purpose of supporting any foreseeable loading.
A work positioning system shall be used only if either -
(b) where the system includes a line as a backup system, the user is connected to it; or
(c) where it is not reasonably practicable to comply with sub-paragraph (a), all practicable measures are taken to ensure that the work positioning system does not fail.
1. A rope access or positioning technique shall be used only if -
(b) the user is provided with a suitable harness and is connected by it to the working line and the safety line;
(c) the working line is equipped with safe means of ascent and descent and has a self-locking system to prevent the user falling should he lose control of his movements; and
(d) the safety line is equipped with a mobile fall protection system which is connected to and travels with the user of the system.
Taking the risk assessment into account and depending in particular on the duration of the job and the ergonomic constraints, provision must be made for a seat with appropriate accessories.
(b) appropriate measures have been taken to ensure safety.
1. A fall arrest system shall incorporate a suitable means of absorbing energy and limiting the forces applied to the user's body.
2. A fall arrest system shall not be used in a manner -
(b) where its safe use requires a clear zone (allowing for any pendulum effect), which does not afford such zone; or
(c) which otherwise inhibits its performance or renders its use unsafe.
A work restraint system shall -
(b) be used correctly.
1. Every employer shall ensure that a ladder is used for work at height only if a risk assessment under regulation 3 of the Management Regulations has demonstrated that the use of more suitable work equipment is not justified because of the low risk and -
(b) existing features on site which he cannot alter.
Any surface upon which a ladder rests shall be stable, firm, of sufficient strength and of suitable composition safely to support the ladder so that its rungs or steps remain horizontal, and any loading intended to be placed on it.
(b) an effective anti-slip or other effective stability device; or
(c) any other arrangement of equivalent effectiveness.
A ladder used for access shall be long enough to protrude sufficiently above the place of landing to which it provides access, unless other measures have been taken to ensure a firm handhold.
(b) the user can maintain a safe handhold when carrying a load unless, in the case of a step ladder, the maintenance of a handhold is not practicable when a load is carried, and a risk assessment under regulation 3 of the Management Regulations has demonstrated that the use of a stepladder is justified because of -
(ii) the short duration of use.
1. The name and address of the person for whom the inspection was carried out.
2. The location of the work equipment inspected.
3. A description of the work equipment inspected.
4. The date and time of the inspection.
5. Details of any matter identified that could give rise to a risk to the health or safety of any person.
6. Details of any action taken as a result of any matter identified in paragraph 5.
7. Details of any further action considered necessary.
8. The name and position of the person making the report.
(This note is not part of the Regulations)
1. These Regulations impose health and safety requirements with respect to work at height, with certain exceptions including by instructors or leaders in recreational climbing and caving.
2. These Regulations give effect as respects Great Britain to Directive 2001/45/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ No L195, 19.7.2001, p.46), amending Council Directive 89/655/EEC (OJ No L393, 30.12.89, p.13) concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for the use of work equipment by workers at work. They contain additional provisions, including provisions which replace regulations giving effect to certain provisions of Council Directives 89/391/EEC (OJ No L393, 30.12.89, p.1) concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for the workplace and 92/57/EEC (OJ No L245, 26.8.92, p.6) on the implementation of minimum health and safety requirements at temporary or mobile construction sites.
3. The Regulations -
(b) require that persons at work be competent, or supervised by competent persons (regulation 5);
(c) prescribe steps to be taken to avoid risk from work at height (regulation 6 and Schedule 1);
(d) impose duties relating to the selection of work equipment (regulation 7);
(e) impose duties in relation to particular work equipment (regulation 8 and Schedules 2 to 6);
(f) impose duties for the avoidance of risks from fragile surfaces, falling objects and danger areas (regulations 9 to 11);
(g) require the inspection of certain work equipment and of places of work at height (regulations 12 and 13 and Schedule 7);
(h) impose duties on persons at work (regulation 14);
(i) provide for exemptions from certain provisions (regulations 15 and 16); and
(j) amend, repeal or revoke certain enactments (regulations 17 to19 and Schedule 8).
A full regulatory impact assessment of the effect that this instrument will have on the costs of business is available from the Health and Safety Executive, Safety Economics Unit, Rose Court, 2 Southwark Bridge, London SE1 9HS. A Transposition Note in relation to the implementation of the Directives can be obtained from the Health and Safety, International Branch at the same address. Copies of both these documents have been placed in the Library of each House of Parliament.
 1974 c.37. Sections 15 and 50 were amended by the Employment Protection Act 1975 (c.71) Schedule 15, paragraphs 6 and 16 respectively. The general purposes of Part I of the 1974 Act were extended by section 1(1) of the Offshore Safety Act 1992 (c.15). Section 51A was inserted by section 1, and sections 52 and 53 were amended by sections 2 and 6 respectively, of the Police (Health and Safety) Act 1997 (c.42).back
 S.I. 1996/1592, to which there are amendments not relevant to these Regulations.back
 S.I. 1999/3242, to which there are amendments not relevant to these Regulations.back
 S.I. 1988/1655, to which there are amendments not relevant to these Regulations.back
 S.I.1998/2307, to which there are amendments not relevant to these Regulations.back
 S.I. 1998/2306, to which there are amendments not relevant to these Regulations.back
[a] Amended by Correction Slip. Page 13, Schedule 3, Part 2; above the sub-heading "ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SCAFFOLDING", "PART" should read "PART 2". back
ISBN 0 11 072563 8
|© Crown copyright 2005||Prepared 29 March 2005|