The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines working at height as:

"work in any place where, if there were no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury. for example:

  • are working on a ladder or a flat roof;
  • could fall through a fragile surface;
  • could fall into an opening on the floor or a hole in the ground". 

So, Workers are likely to be deemed to be working at height, if they can fall from one level to another.

Practical examples of Working at Height include:

  • Using working platforms
  • Scaffolds
  • Tower scaffolds
  • Cherry pickers
  • Scissor lifts
  • Podium steps
  • Work on a roof, piece of plant or equipment
  • Using ladders or stepladders.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 mandates that employers think about workplace hazards in the form of a health and Safety risk assessment and provides employers with a statutory duty to control or reduce the risks to health and safety in the workplace. The law requires that employers consider and manage any health and safety to those who work alone. 

It is advisable and good practice that workers who work at height are medically assessed for fitness to work.  The purpose of a working at height medical assessment is to ensure the employee does not have any medical condition which could result in injury to themselves or others while working at heights i.e. risk of falling etc. which will in turn co-operate with their employers in meeting their statutory health and safety obligations.

Working at Heights medical assessments take approximately 45 minutes and include:

  • A confidential Height Worker questionnaire
  • Assessment of the worker suitability to work at height
  • Blood Pressure & pulse
  • Height and Weight
  • Diabetes UK - Diabetes risk assessment (Body Mass Index and Waist circumference)
  • Musculoskeletal assessment
  • Certificate of fitness, restrictions and recommendations

Sources of further information

If you have any questions about working at heights medicals at your company, or any other occupational health services for your business in South Wales or the South of England, don't hesitate to call us on 02920 682028 or Contact us.