What are the height safety regulations?

To prevent death and injury caused by falling from height The Work at Height Regulations 2005 was developed.  This should be used by all responsible for working at height activities to ensure they are minising any risk of falling from height.

Adhering to the height regulations is critical in today's ever increasing health and safety conscious world. Some workplace environments require additional fall protection safety. In today's rapidly developing workplace you cannot assume one situation can necessarily be treated the same as a different but similar one, and therefore you must have at least a basic knowledge of 'safe working zones'.

Eliminating Fall Risk Hazards

There are three considerations you should always ask before working at height:

1) Avoidance - eliminate the risk


Can you eliminate the need to work at height? (E.g. Carry out the task working from ground-level or access to high level is not required)

Eliminate risk of working at height. Stay at ground level


2) Fall Prevention - guard the user from accessing hazard

If not, can you prevent personnel from accessing the danger area using collective protection? (E.g. install a guardrail system, or a demarcation barrier to create a specified safe walking route)

Read the regulations on collective fall protection here



3) Minimse The Fall Risk - provide fall-arrest equipment to minimise and arrest the fall should it occur

If not, can you use personal fall protection equipment to prevent or minimise the consequences of a fall? (E.g. install a fall-arrest or fall-restraint lifeline system).
Read the regulations on personal fall protection here

Thirdly-protect-workersProtect the worker from falling by providing personal protection equipment

The risk of falling from height must be assessed to determine whether the required work can be carried out in the proposed manner, and whether sufficient safety measures have been put in place. Remember, the duty holder is responsible for authorising or denying work at height to be carried out.  Do you know enough to know what is safe?

Carrying Out A Working-At-Height Risk Assessment

Assess the hazard against the following aspects:
• What are the risks?
• How serious could the result be of an injury?
• What is the likelihood of the injury occurring?
• Decide on precautions needed to reduce or eliminate the risk
• Record significant findings, and
• Review the assessment as required

This should not be overcomplicated, but ensure all significant aspects are covered.

If the Risk Assessment reveals no further safety measures are required then works can proceed as normal.

Knowledge base - How to assess the risks of working at height

Knowledge base - How to control the risks in your workplace

What Is Regarded A ‘Fall Risk’?

That’s a difficult question because there is no ‘yes’, ‘no’ table which tells you the exact answer for each situation. However, height safety regulations do state specific areas which must be considered, which in turn can help to determine the risk level.

• If you are working closer than 2m to a fall-risk zone safety measures should be put in place, for example guardrail, scaffolding, fall-arrest systems, or even demarcation barriers. Each system has different benefits and uses meaning every situation must be considered on its own merits.
• On most pitched roofs where your chances of slipping or sliding could put you in a fall-risk area. These are commonly overcome with the use of
walkway and fall-arrest wire systems.


Useful Height Safety Terms And Definitions 
Fall Protection

Prevention of an operative from going into a free fall by way of rigid barrier or similar protection medium

Fall Prevention

Prevention of the user of fall protection equipment from going into a free fall

Fall Arrest
Prevention of the user of a fall arrest system from colliding with the ground or structure in a free fall

Note: a fall arrest system will not prevent a fall but should minimise the risk of injury in the event of a fall

Fall Mitigation
Reduction in the severity of the hazards and risks associated with fall protection
Fall/Work Restraint
Personal fall protection system that restricts the travel of the user away
from potentially hazardous areas

Work Positioning
Fall protection system that enables the user to work supported in tension or suspension in such a way that the fall is prevented.

(Please note, work positioning is neither classed as fall arrest or work restraint)



For all your fall arrest system requirements, talk to the team at STQ Vantage. Call 01935 474 602, send us a message or email safety@stqvantage.co.uk