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Health and Safety Directorate

Work at Height


Working at height remains one of the commonest causes of fatalities and serious injuries in the UK.  This page outlines the key standards and guidance documents available at QMUL.

There are three simple rules for work at height:

  • AVOID work at height if you can - If you don't need to go up there, don't!!
  • If work at height cannot be avoided- PREVENT falls by selecting and using the right access equipment.  
  • If you cannot prevent falls- MINIMISE the impact of any fall. Where you cannot eliminate the risk of a fall, use work equipment or other means to minimise the distance and consequences of a fall, should one occur.
  • Steps and ladders can be used when the above methods not appropriate.
  • Always check for fragile roofing materials, these must be protected.

Who can use access equipment on QMUL premises

Type of equipment General use Authorised QM staff e.g. engineers Specialist contractors Typical controls
Library stools  
Library steps  
A-frame steps  
Tower scaffolds and MEWPs   PASMA or IPAF qualification
Scaffolds   Access only  
Lanyard and Harnesses   Fixing points and running lines must be certified

QMUL Documents 


Health and Safety Executive - Work at Height

For Advice and Assistance at QMUL, contact the H&S Manager / Advisor for your Faculty / PS or the subject lead at

All H&S staff can be contacted via the help desk at

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