What does the law say about working at height?

Last updated: 04 Mar 2020

The main law governing work at height is the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR). They apply to employers or people in control of work at height, such as facilities managers or building owners who may contract others to work at height.

The WAHR regulations apply whenever people work at a height that could cause injury if they were to fall.

The WAHR require that:

  • Work at height to be avoided, if possible
  • Work at height which is not avoidable must be properly planned, appropriately supervised and carried out by competent people
  • Precautions are taken when working on or near fragile surfaces
  • Plans are drawn up for emergencies and how people can be rescued, for example, by agreeing a procedure for evacuation
  • All access equipment such as ladders, work platforms and safety nets, are periodically inspected and maintained

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