Work safely at heights

URN: euswo42
Business Sectors (Suites): Waste Resource Operations Management
Developed by: Energy & Utility Skills
Approved on: 01 Nov 2017


This standard for those who working at heights and includes assessing the risks involved, taking all suitable precautions and following the correct procedures. This standard applies to individuals who work at heights, including those working for example, on containers, gantries, ladders or similar structures from where there is a danger of falling. Maintaining health and safety is of paramount importance at all times when working at heights. “Work at height” means work in any place where, if precautions were not taken, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. undertake the work according to an agreed plan

    1. assess correctly the risks associated with the task to be undertaken,

    taking into account the potential dangers of falling, of dropping tools

    and debris, the stability of ladders, the working area, any overhead

    cables and equipment, and other people in the vicinity

    1. carry out all work in line with the risk assessment and control


    1. wear suitable personal protection equipment (PPE) correctly,

    including, where relevant, a full body harness, ensuring that these are

    in good condition and functioning properly

    1. ensure that safety barriers are in place around the working area

    2. obtain a permit to work, where required, before working at heights

    and close it out once work is complete

    1. use protection equipment properly

    2. undertake all required pre-use checks, including checking safe

    access and egress, fragile surfaces, emergency evacuation and rescue

    and ensuring that height access equipment is free from obvious

    defects before use

    1. confirm that height access equipment is deployed and secured

    before operations and used correctly

    1. maintain frequent communication with an identified colleague

    2. leave work areas clean, tidy and free of obstructions

    3. use and store all height access and personal protective equipment


Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. your own individual responsibility relating to maintaining safe working practices and

    procedures when working at heights

    1. the risks associated with working at heights, including when

    carrying or handling objects, and how to control these risks

    1. the precautions appropriate to minimising risks associated with

    working at heights

    1. the requirements for the safe use of ladders

    Organisational specific knowledge and understanding

    1. your organisations policies and procedures

    for preparing for, and working at heights

    1. your organisations procedures for using and

    storing height access and personal protective equipment (PPE)

    1. how to operate your organisations fall

    protection equipment

    1. your organisations emergency evacuation and rescue procedure


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

01 Nov 2021





Originating Organisation

Port skills and safety

Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Public Services, Public Services and Care

SOC Code



Work; Safety; Heights; Gantries; Safety barriers; Ladders; Height access equipment