How ESCA Helps

ESCA products provide a unique combination of safety, versatility and mobility, helping you and your business comply with working at height regulations while maintaining an efficient workflow.

Where Can I Find
Further Information?

The Health and Safety Executive and Business Link have produced the following which gives more information about the regulations:

Working at Height Regulations 2005 – a brief guide (0.1mb)

Working at Heights Regulations
Amendments 2007 (0.1mb)

Safe Use of Ladders

Adobe PDF Working at Heights
Building Maintenance

Adobe PDF Working at Heights
Q&A’s for the Construction Industry (0.3mb)

Working at Heights
Selecting the Equipment (0.1mb)

Working at Heights
The Basics (0.1mb)

Adobe PDF Business Link – Practical advice for working at height or in a confined space (0.1mb)

Working at Heights

The Statistics

  • Each year there are between 50 and 60 fatalities caused by falls from height
  • Each year there are approximately 4000 major injuries caused by falls at work
  • Approximately 515 injuries are caused from falls from ladders
  • Approximately 150 injuries per year are caused by falls from scaffolding
  • Approximately 128 injuries per year are caused by falls from working mobile access platforms / areas at height
  • Approximately 85 injuries per year are caused by people falling from vehicles e.g. forklift trucks, falling from lorry decks etc
  • Approximately 52 injuries per year result from work on fragile materials
  • Approximately 65 injuries per year result from falls from roof edges
  • The construction industry has the highest fatality and major injury incident rate – approximately 50% of all fatalities and injuries, with the remaining fatalities and injuries being spread across all other industry sectors.

The Working at Heights Regulations

Falls from height are the biggest single cause of workplace fatal injuries, (accounting for 40% of all such fatalities in 2004-5) and the second biggest cause of major injuries at work. Research shows that 60% of all major injuries are caused by falls from height of below 2 metres.

Traditionally, work at height has been regarded as work over 2 metres. The new regulations spell out specific requirements and principles for all types of work at height where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause injury, regardless of the height. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has identified working at heights as a major area for considerable improvement and introduced the new regulations on 6th April 2005. It has set new targets to reduce injury rates by 10% by 2010.

Why do accidents involving working at heights happen?

Research carried out on behalf of the HSE has indicated that fatalities and injuries occur because of poor management control and a failure to recognise hazards and risks.

Common factors include:

  • Failure to recognise a problem
  • Failure to ensure that safe systems of work are followed
  • Failure to provide safe systems of work Inadequate information, instruction, training or supervision
  • Failure to use appropriate equipment
  • Failure to provide safe plant / equipment.

What is required?

Employers must do all that is reasonably practicable to prevent anyone falling. The regulations also require that duty holders must:

  • Avoid work at height where they can
  • Use work equipment or other measures to prevent falls where they cannot avoid working at height
  • Where they cannot eliminate the risk of a fall, use work equipment or other measures to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall should one occur.

The main requirements of the regulations are that:

Any work at height needs to be planned in advance of the work activity, with careful consideration given to the selection and use of work equipment. The safe system of work needs to take account of:

  • Any supervision of workers that may be necessary
  • Any weather conditions that workers may be exposed to
  • Any emergency or rescue procedures that may be required
  • Equipment is carefully selected – employers must consider working conditions, working height, distance and consequences of a fall, duration and frequency of use
  • The risks from fragile surfaces (roof lights, asbestos roofs etc) are identified and properly controlled
  • Any equipment used is properly inspected and maintained
  • Injuries as a result of falling objects are prevented.

Examples of the type of work now covered by regulations include:

  • many types of construction work
  • clearing gutters and rainwater pipes
  • painting walls and ceilings
  • changing light bulbs
  • working on flat roofs
  • working from a ladder.

Duties are placed on the employer and any other person that control the work of others, for example a buildings/facilities manager that contracts others to work at height.