Work at Heights Regulations: The importance of understanding and obeying legislation

Posted on 27th May, 2014 | By Lorretta Tatham


The owner and developer of a construction site in Raynes Park, London, has been fined a total of £16,000 and ordered to pay a further £1,200 in costs after pleading guilty to breaches of Work at Heights legislation.

The dangerous work took place on and around the roof of a three-storey building, with no measures in place to prevent or mitigate a fall. It was spotted by a safety officer who was sat in a carriage of a train that was passing by. Despite issuing a Prohibition Notice to prevent any further work at a height until adequate safety measures were put in place, the safety officer witnessed exactly the same activity taking place, by the same company, weeks later.

Peter Alexander Ross, 55, the principal contractor and construction manager for the work, was prosecuted by a Health and Safety Executive, just days ago. Although nobody was injured at the site, the fall risk was significant, and as the principal contractor and manager, it was Ross’s responsibility to ensure safety measures were in place.

The need to take responsibility

After the hearing, HSE inspector Mike Gibb highlighted the importance of the role of principal contractor, and the duties that come along with it:

“Principal contractors must ensure they devote adequate resources to planning, managing and monitoring work. If they do not have sufficient expertise themselves in project and site management, and adequate health and safety knowledge, they must ensure they have competent sources of advice and support.”

Don’t put your company or your employees at risk

It’s important to make sure you are well aware of the Work at Heights Regulations 2005 with our Working at Heights courses. Our specific Working at Heights training covers:

  • Working at Heights Regulations 2005
  • Health and Safety law and legislation
  • An overview of risk assessment relating to safe working at heights – such as planning and organising work of this kind, and how to identify hazards and accident causation
  • Safety equipment required for working at heights

We make the training as flexible as possible for you, so it can be provided at either our approved training centre or at your location, to suit your convenience. As the course is only half a day long, we can also guarantee that the training won’t take over a whole day of work time.

So whether you’re the principal contractor, manager of a site, employee or self-employed, it’s really important to enrol on working at heights courses – to keep on top of the law, and act in a safe, lawful manner.

Your may like to sign up to a few more of our courses such as our In House Safe Use & Pre-Use Inspection of Harnesses & Lanyards course – which may come in useful for those working a heights if they use harnesses and lanyards.

To explore our range of courses, visit our Safety Training page, or call the team at Browns Ladders today.

Have you witnessed unsafe work from a height? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @BrownsLadders


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