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Working at Height

Work at Height is any work where you can fall from one level to another. This would include work on stepladders or ladders, raised working platforms, any work above ground level or where there is the possibility of falling from an edge either at a height or from ground level into an opening.

Where there is a risk of a fall, work at height should be avoided if at all possible, or if this is not possible equipments and measures must be put in place to prevent a fall occurring or if this is not achievable to minimise the consequences of the fall. Staff who instruct others to work at heights must comply with the University's Instruction and Information on Work at Height.

Falls from height are the most common cause of work related deaths and a major cause of workplace serious injury. Part of the reason for this is that when we work at height we are always doing something else - the fact that we could fall is incidental to the actual activity being carried out, and so tends to get forgotten in any assessment of risks. Also we tend to take short cuts that lead to us working at height, such as standing on tables or chairs, which we should not do.

Work equipment used for working at height must be deemed suitable for the task in hand and must be routinely checked to ensure that they continue to be safe for use. Further information on inspection is included in the link to the right. Any Department owning work at height equipment must maintain an inventory and keep records of inspection.

All who need to use access equipment (which includes ladders and step ladders) to carry out work activities must understand the risks and suitable control measures required to mitigate those risks. The Moodle Training package has been prepared to help with this.