The Work at Height Regulations (2005)
The Work at Height Regulations (2005) are very prescriptive and require employers, the self-employed and any person who controls the work of others to appropriately assess and adequately control any work undertaken at height. The Charity Trustees must ensure that employees, volunteers and contractors that carry out any work or activities at height are "as safe as is reasonably practicable".
The regulations require that:
- All work at height must be properly planned, organised and supervised and carried out in a way that is, as far as reasonably practicable, safe. Planning must include the appropriate selection of equipment to be used and procedures for emergencies and rescue. Consideration must also be given to the working environment and, in particular, the weather.
- Anyone involved with planning, organising, supervising, arranging equipment and working at height must be competent to do so
- The risk assessment for working at height is suitable and sufficient and appropriate work equipment (including PPE) is used. For routine working at height activities such as gutter cleaning, visual inspections, tree pruning and light bulb replacements etc, providing a prescriptive safe system of work (SSOW) for these activities along with the risk assessment will ensure that that employees and volunteers have a safety framework to ensure that they can safely carry out the task or activity (See risk assessment section).
- Special consideration must be given to working on or near fragile roofs or surfaces. It is necessary to ensure that nobody passes across or near, or works from or near, a fragile surface unless it is reasonably practicable to do so under appropriate conditions. If it is not reasonably practicable to do so, suitable and sufficient platforms, coverings, guardrails or similar means of support must be provided and used. In addition, suitable and sufficient measures must be taken to minimise the distances and consequences of a fall.
- If there are any fragile roofs or surfaces within any congregation properties, prominent warning notices must be affixed at the approach to these so that people are aware of the risks of working on or near the area
- All equipment for working at height must be properly inspected and maintained
- Suitable precautions are in place to prevent injury from falling objects when working at height. This might involve stopping people accessing areas underneath until the work is complete.