AcademyBuzz From Train4Academy

Working at Height Rules and Regulations


According to the 2018/19 HSE Health and Safety at Work - Summary statistics for Great Britain, working at height in the construction industry is the top cause of death and major injuries in the workplace. Falls from height accounted for 8% of all workplace injuries with 144 workers killed at work, 35 of which were as a result of falls from height.

RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) Statistics

According to RIDDOR 2013-2018, falls from height were the most common fatal injury caused, of which:

Source: HSE - Kinds of accident statistics in Great Britain 2018

This article looks at some basic rules for working at height and responsibilities of employers and employees under the Work at Height Regulations 2005, which have been designed to help employers and employees to work safely.

What is working at height?

The HSE's definition of working at height is:

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.

You are working at height if you:

For example, this could be a broad range of activities, such as working on:

Remember, a height could also be a depth if it is below ground; for example, a cellar, excavations or foundations.

Regulations for Working at Height

In 2007, the Work at Height Regulations (2005), was amended to help further prevent the injuries and deaths that occur when work is being carried out at height.

It is the main regulation that sets out the rules and safety measures that should be taken in the event of a fall when working at height has not been avoidable. These Regulations only applies to workplaces, but the tips and advice given in this article could be equally relevant to DIY work at home.


The Regulations place responsibilities on all involved in working at height; that is:

Risk Assessments

Before commencing work at height, a suitable and sufficient risk assessment must be undertaken. This is a careful examination of the work to be done and the precautions and safe systems of work that must be put in place.

As well as complying with the law, a risk assessment is intended to focus on the specific dangers and hazards of the job to enable them to be addressed and controlled before anyone is harmed. The law acknowledges that not all risks can be eliminated, but aims to protect people as far as is reasonably practicable.

Safety Rules for Working at Height

The details of the safety requirements covering the places where work is carried out are set out in Schedule 1 of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

Employee responsibilities are to:

Click here to go to the full Work at Height Regulations 2005 on the government's legislation website.


Working at Height Course
  • Work towards compliance with UK Health and Safety legislation
  • Unlimited resits at no cost
  • Instant certificate