Toolbox Talk – Working at Height

Toolbox Talk - Working at Height

Toolbox Talk – Working at Height

Working at Height:

Falling from height is the major cause of fatalities in the construction industry. More than half of falls from a height result in death or serious injury. All such deaths and serious injuries are preventable.

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 applies to all work at height where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury. They place duties on employers, the self-employed, and any person who controls the work of others (e.g. facilities managers or building owners who may contract others to work at height) to the extent they control the work.


Main Points:

The Regulations require duty holders to ensure:

  • Eliminate if possible, if not use the hierarchy of controls.
  • All work at height is properly planned and organized.
  • Al work at height takes account of weather conditions that could endanger health and safety.
  • Those involved in work at height are trained and competent.
  • The place where work at height is done is safe.
  • Equipment for work at height is appropriately inspected.
  • The risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled.
  • The risks from falling objects are properly controlled.


Discussion Points:

  • Access ladders must be secured and extend sufficiently beyond working platforms to allow for safe access/egress.
  • Where access ladders run for more than 9m then suitable intermediate platforms must be provided.
  • Consider weather conditions – wet, windy and/or icy conditions can have a serious impact on safety at height.
  • Ensure operatives are suitably trained and physically capable for tasks being undertaken.
  • If guard-rails, fragile surface covers, void protections, etc, are removed for any reason then they must be replaced as soon as possible, and in the interim should be physically guarded.
  • Our first option should always be to work from a Mobile Elevated Working Platform, should that not be possible always ensure that you follow the appropriate Permit procedures that have been put in place for the use of steps.


If you have any questions regarding this ToolBox talk you can Contact Matt Hollister on 

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