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The Working at Heights Regulations 2005 have revoked the working at height parts of the Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996. The regulations are now applicable to all places of work and include all work activities where there is a need to control the risk of falling from any distance and therefore liable to cause personal injury.

This is regardless of the work equipment being used, for how long the person is working at height or the height at which the work is being carried out. Nor is there a minimum height requirement for the regulations to apply.

The principle is that any work at height must be avoided if its practical to do the work in another way. If it can’t be avoided than a risk assessment must be carried out and the work planned accordingly.

With residential property such work would include:

  1. Working on a scaffold or from a mobile elevated work platform (MEWP);
  2. Work performed in trees;
  3. The use of cradles or ropes to gain access to parts of a building;
  4. Using a ladder/step ladder or kick stool for window cleaning, or other maintenance tasks such as changing a light bulb (if the freeholder supplies these then they need to be checked regularly and a notice placed on it detailing safety precautions for their use);
  5. Checking smoke detectors;
  6. Gutter cleaning.

A brief guide can be found here.

 

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