It is obvious to just about anyone that working at height comes with associated risk. Any time you are working in an environment where there is the possibility that you could fall from height and injure yourself, there is a degree of danger involved. So you might assume that you if you are going to undertake some work at height – or you are employing someone to do so – that some level of training will be required in order to do so.

The rules surrounding working at height are governed by the Work at Height Regulations 2005 act. Safety is a key concern in order to protect workers from the risk of injury. So let’s have a look at what the regulations say about the training required to work at height.

Competence is key

Regulations state that workers must be competent in order to work at height. But in this context, what does the word ‘competent’ mean? Anyone who is going to work at height is required to have the skills, knowledge and experience to do so. Alternatively, if they are being trained then they must be under the supervision of someone who is competent to do so.

This is why it is so important for an employer or manager to perform a thorough assessment of the risks associated with the job. They can then easily understand whether someone is competent to carry out the work.

It depends on the type of work

Clearly, then, whether you need training to carry out a task depends on that task. Simple, low-risk jobs with short durations, such as those requiring the use of a ladder of step ladder only take very basic training that can take place on the job under the eye of a supervisor. This could include training such as how to set up a ladder correctly, as well as providing an understanding of ladder safety basics.  

However, there are many types of work at height that require more sophisticated training. For example, you might need to set up a scaffold tower or assemble a scaffold with complex safety requirements. In these examples it may be necessary for you to have certified training in order to be deemed confident.

If you need training, say so

It’s important that if you are going to work at height that you feel safe to do so. Remember that if you feel that require training you should make your employer or supervisor aware.