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Working at Heights

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What is working at a height?

Working at heights is interpreted in Part 4 of Statutory Instrument No. 299/2007 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007.

“Work at Height” as defined in the Regulation, means work in any place, including a place:

  • In the course of obtaining access to or egress from any place, except by a staircase in a permanent place of work, or
  • At or below ground level,

from which, if measures required by Part 4 of the Regulations were not taken, an Employee could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury and any reference to carrying out work at height includes obtaining access to or egress from such place while at work.

The Regulations do not specify a minimum height requirement for work to be defined as work at height. Examples of work at height may include the following:

  • Painting at a height
  • Climbing permanent structures, for example telephone poles or masts
  • Working on scaffolding
  • Filling shelves using a ladder
  • Using a ladder to carry out window-cleaning
  • Stacking shelves whilst using a ladder

This list is not exhaustive.

The Regulations apply to all work at height where there is the possible risk of a fall which may cause personal injury. The Regulations place obligations on Employers, Employees and the Self-Employed. When a person is employed in a private household to carry out work, the person who is employed to carry out the work has the obligations under the Regulations.