Safety Services


Working at height

The HSE provides a wealth of information on working at height and the links on this page are to their website.

Remember work at height also includes work in locations or situations which are below ground level, eg accessing a pit, an archaeological dig etc.

HSE's Key messages

Employers and those in control of work at height must first assess the risks.

Before working at height you must follow these simple steps:

  • avoid work at height where it is reasonably practicable to do so
  • where work at height cannot be easily avoided, prevent falls using either an existing place of work that is already safe or the right type of equipment
  • minimise the distance and consequences of a fall, by using the right type of equipment where the risk cannot be eliminated

You should:

  • do as much work as possible from the ground
  • ensure workers can get safely to and from where they work at height
  • ensure equipment is suitable, stable and strong enough for the job, maintained and checked regularly
  • not overload or overreach when working at height
  • take precautions when working on or near fragile surfaces
  • provide protection from falling objects
  • consider emergency evacuation and rescue procedures