SOAS University of London

Health and Safety

Work at Height

Falls from height remain the single biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the main causes of major injury at work. A place is "at height" if a person could be injured falling from it, even if it is at a very low level. This includes falling to the ground and below ground (e.g. cellars and basements). The Work at Height Regulations 2005 were introduced to help prevent injuries and deaths caused each year by falls at work.

Every effort should be made to avoid "Work at Height".

If Work at Height cannot be avoided 

Estates & Facilities staff by the uniqueness of some roles will receive the required information, instruction, training and risk assement through their line management.

All other staff who cannot avoid "Work at Height" are responsible for taking suiatable and sufficient measures to make working from height tasks as safe as possible. As such the following should be undertaken before any "Work at Height" tasks are undertaken :

  • Read and confirm understanding of the Work at Height guidance found on this page.
  • A "Work at Height" risk assessment should be undertaken with the support of the Line Manager, Safety Rep and as required so that all issues identified are addressed as appropriate and risks reduced as far as reasonably practicable.

Additional guidance on the safe use of Ladders can be found on the HSE website or from