The HSS Guide to Working Safely at Height

Working Safely at Height

Who does it apply to?
The work at Height Regulations 2005 consolidates previous legislation and applies to all work at height where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury.


The regulations set out a simple hierarchy for managing and selecting equipment for work at height:


Avoid working at height unless you have to.
Always look for alternative ways to get the job done.


If you have to work at height, do everything you can to prevent a fall. Consider all the risks in advance and carefully choose the right equipment for the job and the environment.

Remember to:

  • Use the most suitable equipment
  • Take into account working conditions
  • Think about the safety of everyone in the area where the equipment is to be used
  • Give priority to collective protection measures (e.g. safety harness and guardrails over personal protection)


If you cannot eliminate the risk of a fall completely, use work equipment or other measures to minimise the consequences should one occur.

5 Major Requirements

Duty holders must ensure that:

  1.  All work at height is properly planned and organised
  2.  Those involved in work at height are competent
  3.  A full risk assessment is carried out and appropriate equipment is selected and used
  4.  The risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled
  5.  Equipment to work at height properly inspected and maintained

What does it mean to me?

Before beginning any work at height, ensure that you carry out a proper risk assessment to determine if working at height is necessary. If it is, HSS can advise what is the most appropriate equipment is to use.

Tower Assembly Methods

Towers should be erected following a safe assembly method. There are two approved methods recommended by PASMA ( Prefabricated Access Suppliers and Manufacturers Association), which have been developed in co-operation with the HSE ( Health and Safety Executive).

3t Methodd (through the trap)

The most common form to build method. This enables the individual erecting the tower to be fully protected from the risk of a fall by positioning themselves within the trap door of the platform whilst guardrails are added or removed. This method is designed to ensure the individual does not stand on an unguarded platform.

Advanced Guardrail Method

The Advanced Guardrail Method uses special guardrail units that are  positioned ahead of the person erecting the tower within the build to ensure collective protection at all times. This ensures the operator is never exposed to the risk of fall from an unguarded platform.

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About the Author

Lauren King

Lauren works in our Ecommerce Team, with over 6 years of experience at HSS. She brings product knowledge and is able to give her advice on the right tool for the job no matter how big or small.

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