Working at Height Training


Started on July 19, 2024

Working at Height Training

The crucial element to understand about Working at Height is that it’s not how far you climb, but how far you can fall. In fact, if you’re working with both feet firmly planted on the ground, but have a deep trench next to you, that you could potentially fall into, then this qualifies as working at height. Equally, if you’re working on a fragile surface that you could fall through, that also qualifies as working at height. In short, any situation that presents a risk of fall, is work at height.

Who is this course for?

This course is aimed at anyone who undertakes work at height, or who employs people who regularly work at height.

Legislation Governing Working at Height

There’s a legal requirement under the working at height regulations for employers to protect their employees and the wider public. If employers fail in their legal obligations, they can face prosecution. In addition, employers owe a duty of care under civil law, which means they can be made to pay compensation to injured people or their relatives. To stay on the right side of the law, both workers and employers need to comply with several key pieces of legislation.

When we talk about the impact of the relevant legislation, we’re talking about duties and duty holders. These include employers, planners, architects and employees who undertake working at height. By the end of the course, you will understand the obligations and responsibilities of each duty holder under the law according to their role position.

All working at height situations are covered by health and safety legislation. Chief among these is the Work at Height regulations 2005 or WAHR. These regulations confer legal duties on employers and employees to assess, control and minimise risks and hazards from work at height. The purpose of the regulations is to encourage proper planning before and during working at height. This includes planning rescue and emergency procedures in the event of a fall.

Additional legislation that are relevant to working at height, which the course covers are:

Undertaking Risk Assessments

The first stage of the risk assessment requires you to identify the risks. Where people are working at height the obvious risk is from falls, which can be either materials or equipment falling or people falling. These risks can be exacerbated by certain conditions, including the weather, high winds in particular. And the greater the potential height of any fall, the more serious the risk becomes.

The risks aren’t only borne by the workers, but also by anyone passing below the place where the work is going on. You need to think about who is affected and how many people are involved. Any safeguards you put in place must work for everyone. You can’t worsen the hazard for one group just to protect another.

This training takes you through a robust risk assessment process to determine which controls or measures are most suitable. Risk must be controlled through a proper risk assessment and planning process. There are six key principles to be applied to any risk assessment

  1. Any measures should apply to everyone, meaning that you can’t impose measures that minimise risk for one individual or group at the expense of others.
  2. Identify the hazards and assess and quantify the risks.
  3. Select the correct equipment for the task, which means it must be properly maintained and installed
  4. Use the equipment correctly, understand its purpose and limitations and don’t abuse or misuse it.
  5. Ensure that all work is undertaken by trained and competent persons
  6. Recognise the need for collective responsibility. If something isn’t right, it’s everyone’s responsibility to alert a competent person to the issue before it becomes an incident

Controls Aimed at Preventing Falls

There are two kinds of preventative controls, individual controls or collective controls. Individual controls like work restraint lanyards only protect the individual using them. Whereas collective controls like this safety parapets protect everybody.

Collective controls are preferable to individual controls and should, wherever possible, be used. The course outlines the types of steps that can be taken to use collective controls, where this option is available. However, there will be situations where they isn’t a practical collective solution. In these instances, it’s necessary to apply individual controls to prevent the risk of falls.

Here, you will be taken through various options to consider, which mainly involves the use of some kind of PPE, or personal protective equipment. PPE encompasses everything from appropriate gloves to work restraint equipment. Work positioning, lanyards, and restraints are designed to prevent workers getting into an unsafe position from which they could fall. But they won’t help in the event of a fall. They’re not fall arrest devices.

Properly planned and implemented risk assessments ensure that controls are applied properly and employers meet their legal obligations in these areas. In addition, there are duties that apply to other groups including architects and employees.

Please note that this is an awareness course only so if your duties include working at height you also need further practical training.  Please contact us if you would like more information.

Course ContentModule
Introducing Work at Height1
The Dangers of Work at Height2
The Work at Height Regulations3
Summary of Duty Holder’s Responsibilities4
Employer’s Responsibilities5
The Hierarchy of Control6
Avoiding Work at Height Wherever Possible7
Prevent Risk of Falls8
Minimise Consequences9
The Risk Assessment10
Course Summary11
Course Assessment

Online assessment for this working at height awareness is carried out by a series of multiple choice questions. Candidates must answer 70% of the questions correctly to pass each module. We advise you to complete each module and answer the question before moving on to the next module. This provides a better learning experience because you will need to have knowledge from earlier modules to understand some of the material in the later modules. For those who complete the course successfully, a PDF certificate of the award is sent directly to your inbox.  Hard copies of the award are available on request.  The course takes 105 minutes of training to complete. This is course content only and does not cover the time it takes to answer questions.

Related courses to Working at Height Awareness include

Working Safely 
Working in Confined Spaces