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Topic: Health and safety policy

work at height safety policy
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Work at height safety policy

Work at height safety policy

If staff work at height, it’s prudent to introduce a policy to show that you take their health and safety seriously. It’s also useful to be able to show any inspectors who may visit you.

Work at height safety policy

If several of your employees regularly work at height as part of their job, we would suggest that you formalise your approach to this work by creating a Work at Height Safety Policy. Not only will it help you comply with the requirements of Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR) and other safety legislation, it will give you valuable back up in the event of an inspection by the enforcing authorities, or even your insurer visiting to set future insurance premiums. Our sample policy is divided into eight sections:

General statement

This is the introduction which sets the tone for your policy and broadly outlines your approach. Ours was written with the requirements of WAHR in mind. So apart from stating the obvious about taking measures to ensure that staff and visitors aren’t put at risk, our introduction states that the policy refers to all work, including that carried out at below two metres. It also complies with WAHR by stating that the most suitable control measures for each job will be used.

Legal position

The second section on the legal position sets out the most important requirements of WAHR. These focus on the need to properly plan and organise the work, to select the appropriate equipment following a risk assessment, train staff, manage any risks from working on fragile surfaces and to maintain any work equipment that needs to be used.

Control measures

This leads onto the third section which is the most detailed due to the status that control measures have in the UK’s risk-based approach to safety. Accordingly, our policy sets out the most common types of control measures associated with work at height. For example, with reference to “choice of access equipment”, it states that selection will be based on numerous factors including space constraints, distance of any potential fall and the need to be able to evacuate easily in the event of an emergency.

Ladders and harnesses

As ladders and harnesses are both measures of the last resort, our policy makes this clear in sections four and five. It also states that a risk assessment must be carried out before either is adopted for working at height.

Other sections

For completeness, the remaining three sections cover employee duties, training and the need to carry out regular maintenance and inspection of any equipment used for working at height.


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