Work at Height Regulations 2005



Safety Responsibilities at Work

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“Active Safety Associates, Health & Safety Consultants, Surrey UK, have been Cadogan Building Services out-sourced health & safety consultants since the company was formed in 2006. They were recommended to me and I have always found Richard to be knowledgeable, courteous and always available to assist, even at short notice. The Health & Safety Management System he devised for the company is comprehensive and user-friendly and his on-going support invaluable. I would have no hesitation in recommending him to other prospective companies, no matter their size.”

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Safety Responsibilities at Work

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Work at Height Regulations 2005

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 came into force on 6 April 2005. They apply to nearly all sectors of UK industry and bring together principles relating to work at height already enshrined in existing legislation.

The Regulations will apply to all work at height where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury. It will not apply to the provision of instruction and leadership in caving or climbing by way of sport, recreation, team-building, or similar activities.


Duty-holders will be required to ensure:

  • All work is properly planned and organised;
  • Risks from work at height are assessed and appropriate work equipment is selected and used;
  • Those involved in work at height are competent to carry out the work;
  • Risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled; and
  • Equipment for work at height is properly inspected and maintained.

    Elizabeth Gibby, head of the HSE’s Injuries Reduction Programme, said: "These regulations set out a simple hierarchy for managing and selecting equipment for work at height. 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; and, 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 Work at Height Regulations 2005 can be viewed on the HMSO website at   A brief guide on the new rules aimed at small businesses and those not familiar with the Regulations is available on the HSE website at

    Ban Bullying At Work Day

    A ban bullying at work day is planned for 7 November 2005. The key objective for Ban Bullying at Work Day and its run up campaign is to raise awareness of the issue across the UK.

    The Andrea Adams Trust, who are organizing the event say bullying at work is “an abuse of power or position” and amounts to “offensive discrimination through persistent, vindictive, cruel or humiliating attempts to undermine, criticise, condemn, and to hurt or humiliate an individual or group of employees”. “The campaign is aimed to be about everyone involved in the field of workplace bullying, so we can get the message out that this behaviour will no longer be accepted”.

    Bullying can be a major creator of stress in the workplace. The Trust says that workplace bullying can have a serious impact on organisations as well as individuals. Statistics show that each year, as many as 18.9 million working days are lost to bullying and up to a half of all stress-related illnesses are a direct result of bullying.

    A lack of recognition and acceptance of this very basic human behaviour is the cause of much corporate dysfunction, resulting in costly damage to both individuals and organisations. It makes business sense to recognise that bullying is an issue that needs to be addressed. Coming to grips with the problem from all sides, is about awareness, recognition and training. Look here for suggestions for in-house activities to create action on National Ban Bullying at Work Day

     The Trades Union Congress (TUC) who will be supporting Ban Bullying at Work Day say that victims of workplace bullying take an average of seven extra days off each year, compared to those who are not bullied. The TUC also found that in 75% of cases, a manager was identified as the bully.

     For details of the day, a poster and an activity pack click here and for details about the Andrea Adams Trust, click here.

    Construction Designers Can Do More

    The Health and Safety Executive say that designers can do more to reduce accidents arising during construction.

    Designers are expected to eliminate or reduce construction risks during the design process under the CDM Regulations. The HSE has prepared guidance on how this may be achieved.  Please see our Links page to the HSE for futher information.

    Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005

    New regulations on prevention of vibration risks in the workplace come into force on 6 July 2005.

    The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations require employers to take action to prevent their employees from developing diseases caused by exposure to vibration at work from equipment, vehicles and machines.

    Hand-arm vibration is a major cause of occupational ill-health. Around 3,000 new claims for Industrial Injury Disability Benefit are made each year in relation to vibration white finger. The courts have awarded large sums of compensation for the disease in recent years including an estimated £3bn for 165,000 ex-miners and £212,000 for a railway employee.

    Companies whose employees are exposed to vibration will have to make sure they comply with the new regulations.  Companies such as construction contractors operating vibrating equipment such as, jack hammers, hand held breakers, wacker plates, air driven tools, etc.. Other contractors operating floor polishers or delivery vehicles

    Control Measures

    Where there is a risk of exposure to vibration employers should:

  • Risk Assess exposure levels
  • Use reasonably practicable measures to reduce them
  • Provide information and training
  • Provide appropriate health surveillance
  • Prepare a purchase policy and maintenance plan
  • Use equipment designed to minimise vibration
  • Design jobs to minimise the time spent on vibrating machinery (eg by job rotation;)
  • Provide operators with sufficient information, instruction, training and supervision
  • Avoid using vibrating equipment in damp, cold conditions when blood circulation is likely to be restricted
  • Use PPE (eg protective gloves) as a last resort according to risk assessment principles
  • To view the HSE vibration webpages, including the new law click here
    To access the vibration exposure calculator please click here
    To view related publications please click on the following links:
    Control the risks from hand-arm vibration INDG175(rev2)
    Control back-pain risks from whole-body vibration INDG242(rev1)
    Hand-arm vibration INDG296(rev1)
    Drive away bad backs INDG404

    Accident Prevention -- 2.2 M Deaths Caused by Accidents at Work.

    Accidents at work took 2.2 million lives worldwide in 2004, according to figures from the International Labour Organization (ILO).

    Despite a reduction in work-related injuries, deaths and illnesses in industrialised countries this is a 10% rise on the number of deaths three years ago.

    ILO director-general Juan Somavia said. "Every day, some 5000 or more women and men around the world lose their lives because of work-related accidents and illness”. "Occupational safety and health is vital to the dignity of work." "Decent work must be safe work, and we are a long way from achieving that goal." Accident prevention has to be a key goal for all businesses and organizations .

    UK Employers have a rigorous legislative environment designed to ensure the safety of workers. This means that all employers and businesses must take positive accident prevention steps to protect their workforce such as appoint a competent person to advise on health and safety and to prepare suitable and sufficient risk assessments. The competent person will advise on the accident prevention and protective measures needed to ensure a safe workplace . Suitable and sufficient risk assessments enable the employer to identify all those areas in his business where there are health and safety risks that might affect his employees and put in place suitable accident prevention and health protection control measures .

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