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Working at height remains one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries. Common cases include falls from ladders and through fragile surfaces. 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 (for example a fall through a fragile roof).


This section shows how employers can take simple, practical measures to reduce the risk of any of their workers falling while working at height.


Working height safety requirements: –

People must make sure work is properly planned, supervised, and carried out by competent people with the skills, knowledge, and experience to do the job. You must use the right type of equipment for working at height.


Take a sensible approach when considering precautions. Low-risk, relatively straightforward tasks will require less effort when it comes to planning and there may be some low-risk situations where common sense tells you no particular precautions are necessary.


Control measures: –

First, assess the risks. Factors to weigh up include the height of the task, the duration and frequency, and the condition of the surface being worked on.


Before working at height work through these simple steps:

  • Avoid work at heights where it’s reasonably practicable to do so.
  • Minimize the distance and consequences of a fall, by using the right type of equipment where the risk cannot be eliminated
  • 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


For each step, always consider measures that protect everyone at risk (collective protection) before measures that only protect the individual (personal protection).


Collective protection is equipment that does not require the person working at height to act for it to be effective. Examples are permanent or temporary guardrails, scissor lifts, and tower scaffolds.


Personal protection is equipment that requires the individual to act for it to be effective. An example is putting on a safety harness correctly and connecting it, with an energy-absorbing lanyard, to a suitable anchor point.

working in height

Dos and don’ts of working at height:


  • As much work as possible from the ground
  • Consider emergency evacuation and rescue procedures
  • Ensure equipment is suitable, stable and strong enough for the job, maintained and checked regularly
  • Ensure workers can get safely to and from where they work at height
  • Provide protection from falling objects
  • Take precautions when working on or near fragile surfaces


  1.  Let anyone who is not competent (who doesn’t have the skills, knowledge and experience to do the job) not work at height.
  2. Overload ladders-consider the equipment or materials workers are carrying before working at height. Check the pictogram or label on the ladder for information
  3. Overreach on ladders or stepladders
  4. Rest a ladder against weak upper surfaces, eg glazing or plastic gutters.

Use ladders or stepladders for strenuous or heavy tasks, only use them for light work of short duration (a maximum of 30 minutes at a time).


Important Guidelines:-

  • Apply control measures.
  • Discuss control measures to be taken in consultation with various officials/employees involved in work at height.
  • Eliminate work at height wherever possible.
  • Identify all work at height done in your business.
  • Keep these checklists.
  • Make an assessment of all risks that may include:
  • People working on the ground and may be affected by a falling object.
  • Periodically re-evaluate the risks, particularly in the case of a change of personnel or if an accident occurred.
  • To inform everyone involved in your business rules in place for the prevention of work-related accidents in height
  • When this is not possible, a full assessment of work at height is riskier.
  • Workers at height



In addition to raising awareness about the risks, the employer has an obligation to train staff for jobs involving falls from heights.


In order to better protect the employees, the employer may invest in appropriate equipment and insist on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).


or fall protection kits including safety harnesses, carabineers and retractors may be used, thus ensuring a significant reduction in risk.

For More Information about Working height – safety requirements enroll in our Industrial Safety Officer course.



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