Working at Height
The purpose of The Working at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR) is to prevent death and injury caused by a fall from height.
The Head of School is responsible for managing working at height by identifying the equipment, activity or process that requires people to work at height. They should ensure that all avenues to avoid working at height are explored. However, if work at height is required, controls must be in place to ensure:
- All work at height is properly planned and organised.
- All work at height takes account of weather conditions that could endanger health & safety.
- Those involved are adequately instructed, trained and competent.
- The place where work at height is appropriately inspected.
- The risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled.
- The risk from falling objects are properly controlled.
- Access equipment which has been assembled or erected is inspected by a competent person prior to use.
Hierarchy of Controls
The WAHR set out a hierarchy of control that must be followed for managing and selecting equipment for work at height.
- Avoid work at height where possible.
- Use work equipment or other measures to prevent falls where they cannot avoid
working at height; and
- Where they cannot eliminate the risk of a fall, use work equipment or other measures
to minimize the distance and consequences of a fall should one occur.
Checklist for Working at Height
Before undertaking or requesting that work at height be undertaken the following should be answered:
- Can working at height be avoided?
- Is it necessary to undertake the work in this manner?
- Has a suitable and sufficient risk assessment been completed? (the appropriate form can be obtained from a technician).
- Is there a safe method of getting to and from the work area?
- What particular equipment will be suitable for the job and condition on site?
- Is equipment in good condition and the person(s) erecting the equipment trained and experienced?
- Are those who use the equipment supervised so that they use it correctly? The more specialist the equipment, the greater the degree of training and supervision required.
- Is there a system for reporting defects and arranging replacements? (Safe Working Procedures / Ladder Inspection Checklist).
Any member of staff or student who is considering working at height must attend a Working at Height 2005, and the use of stepladders – ‘toolbox talk’ training session, provided by a competently trained person, prior to engaging in working at height.