Yes, as an employer you will need to be aware of The Work at Height Regulations 2005, which came into force on April 6, 2005.
The regulations apply to all work at height where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury.
They place duties on employers, the self-employed and any person who controls the work of others (facilities managers, for example, or building owners who may contract others to work at height) to ensure:
- All work at height is properly planned and organised.
- Those involved in work at height are competent.
- The risks from work at height are assessed and appropriate work equipment is selected and used.
- The risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled.
- Equipment for work at height is properly inspected and maintained.
There is a simple hierarchy for managing and selecting equipment for work at height. Duty holders must:
- Avoid work at height where they can.
- Use work equipment or other measures to prevent falls where they cannot avoid working at height.
- Where they cannot eliminate the risk of a fall, use work equipment or other measures to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall should one occur.
- The regulations include schedules giving requirements for existing places of work and means of access for work at height, collective fall prevention (such as guardrails and working platforms), collective fall arrest (such as nets and airbags), personal fall protection (such as work restraints, fall arrest and rope access) and ladders.