Falls from Height – Most Common Cause of Fatality

It is quite a common misconception that work at height is any work from a platform or anywhere above working above ground level.

Work at height is…

defined as work in any place where a person could fall a distance and injure themselves, should precautions not previously be in place.  Working either above or below ground level is work at height, along with working near any type of edge where a fall is probable, or fragile surfaces.

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 places duties on the employer and other persons in control of work at height activity. 

Before carrying out any working at height and to comply with the regulations you must ensure: proper planning and organisation of all work at height,  that anyone involved in work at height are competent, all risks associated with any work at height are assessed and adequate equipment is selected for the job, any equipment used for work at height is properly inspected and maintained.

HSE statistics…

According to the latest statistics released by the HSE, in 2017/2018, the main kind of fatal accident for 35 workers was Falls from a Height.  The most common cause of fatality in work is Falls from a Height.


The hierarchy for Working at Height…

Avoid work at height:

  • if you don’t have to go up there DON’T!
  • Use extendable tools
  • Lowering the object to the ground level
  • Ground assembly

Prevent falls:

  • use an existing place or means of access (non-fragile roof with a permanent guardrail)
  • Use the most suitable way of working (MEWP, scaffold)
  • Select the most suitable equipment (work restraint to prevent a fall)

Minimise the distance and consequences:

  • Minimise the consequences (Air Bags, Nets etc)
  • Take other measures to prevent injury e.g. instruction, information and training

We can deliver a half day Safe Working at Height awareness training course to your employees to provide further and more in-depth information into Working at Height.   If you would like to enquire about your own bespoke course and require dates and prices, please contact our training team on 01642 754880 or email enquiries@northernsafetyltd.co.uk.

Download – 
Safe Working at Height Tool Box Talk