Ladders and the Working at Height Regulations (WAHR)

“Work at height means work in any place where, if there were no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury.”

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 sets out the measures that should be taken to prevent falls when working at height is unavoidable. Below is the latest Working At Height Regulations came into force during 2005.

The Ladder Association, (formerly the British Ladder Manufacturers Association, BLMA), has produced a Working At Height Regulations document in consultation with the Health and Safety Executive, (HSE) and the Department of Trade and Industry, (DTI), and the British Standards Institution, (BSI), to assist in the understanding of how the new legislation will affect the use of ladders.

Essentially the message is clear and precise…
The use of portable ladders in industry in UK is currently controlled under a number of legal items including:
The primary objective of the WAHR legislation is to eliminate work at height where possible and where it is not possible to ensure that ALL work at height is performed safely and that equipment had been appropriately selected, whether it is from a mobile access tower, scaffold or a ladder.

Ladders are work equipment as defined by PUWER 98 and must be suitable for the task undertaken.

Ladders can be used as workplaces when it is not reasonably practicable to use other potentially safer means and the Risk Assessment shows that risks are low.

Ladders can be used for access when the insulation of a permanent staircase is not reasonably practicable.

Ladders should be used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions and:
Note: WAHR spells out the need to check and maintain ladders. WAHR are not requiring anything new, but they are clearly stating the general requirements of PUWER to maintain and inspect work equipment (Regulations 5 and 6 (2)).

Many of these points do not change from current legislation however the Ladder Association have produced Risk Assessment Guidelines forms for stepladders and leaning ladders to aid those responsible for ladder use, and these items are available as a free download from the Ladder Association website.

Source: The Ladder Association UK

Here at Step by Step, we care about the safety of our customers and are dedicated to providing reliable access solutions to all. If you’re struggling to find a solution to choose the right ladders, you can contact or WhatsApp us today.