The HSS Guide to Working Safely at Height

Are you working within the Working at Height Regulations?

  • Working Safely at Height - Your Guide to the Law.
  • Tower Assembly Methods
  • LiftPod - New and Exclusive to HSS
  • Access Towers
  • Low Level Access
  • Staging & Steps
  • Training
  • Working Safely at Height Guide

FACT: In 2008/2009 over 4000 major injuries were caused by falls from working at height.

FACT: 25% of all work at height accidents resulted in personal injury payouts.

FACT: After investigationsin 2009, a truck and van company has been fined £20,000 after a mechanic fell from a makeshift platform attached to a forklift truck.

ACT: Our online Guide tells you about the different types of access equipment available through HSS to help you comply with the new legislation and ensure you work safely at height.

Working Safely at Height - Your Guide to the Law

Who does it apply to?

The 2005 Working at Height Regulations apply to everyone where there is risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury

What does it mean to me?

Working at Height means working at ANY height, the old 2 metre threshold no longer applies. You must carry out a proper risk assessment to determine if Working at Height is necessary and if it is, HSS can advise on the most appropriate equipment to use. The regulations set out a simple hierarchy for managing and selecting equipment for work at height:

  • Avoid working at height unless you have to. Always look for alternative ways to get the job done.
  • If you have to work at height, do everything you can to prevent a fall. Consider all the risks in advance and carefully choose the right equipment for the job and the environment. Remember to:
    • Use the most suitable protection
    • Give priority to collective measures (e.g. guard rails) over personal protection (e.g. safety harness)
    • Take into account working conditions (e.g. weather/location)
    • Think about the safety of everyone in the area where equipment is used
  • If you cannot eliminate the risk of a fall completely, use work equipment or other measures to minimise the consequences should one occur.

Tower Assembly Methods

Towers should be erected following a safe method of work, there are two approved methods recommended by PASMA (Prefabricated Access Suppliers and Manufacturers Association), which have been developed in co-operation with the Health and Safety Executive. HSS have assembly guides and supporting components to allow users to follow either of the two approved methods, these are 3T (Through the Trap) or Advanced Guardrail Method.

3T Method (Through the Trap)

The most common form of build method, this enables the individual erecting the tower to be fully protected from risk of fall by positioning themselves within the trap door of the platform whilst guardrails are added or removed. This method is designed to ensure the operator does not stand on an unguarded platform.

Advanced Guardrail

The Advanced Guardrail Method uses special guardrail units that are positioned ahead of the person erecting the tower within the build to ensure collective protection at all times, this ensures the operator is never exposed to the risk of fall from an unguarded platform.

The BoSS Cam-Lock Advanced Guardrail provides and alternative build method for Alloy towers and offers the following features and benefits:

  • Safety guardrail in place before ascending to the platform
  • Tower rigidity - Created by a positive Cam-Lock anchor
  • AGR frames available for 1.8m & 2.5m decking lengths

LiftPod - Exclusive to HSS

Exclusive to HSS is an aerial work platform, the LiftPod. This is a portable aerial work platform that combines the portability of a ladder with the benefits of a work platform. It is ideal for tasks such as light maintenance or repair, cleaning or inspection work. The benefits include:

  • Increased Productivity and Improved Safety
  • The LiftPods sturdy basket allows you to work safely with both hands, more comfortably and with less fatigue. Efficiency
  • LiftPods tool tray holds your tools and materials as you work, eliminating the need to make multiple trips up and down. It also can be powered with a common 18V drill. Portability
  • Each of the LiftPods three modules can be carried and assembled by one person. This, combined with a base on wheels, allows for easier transportation through doorways, in lifts and can even fit into small vans.

Access Towers

For safe height access you need the stable and comfortable working platform provided by our range of ready to erect access towers. HSS has a range of alloy access towers, full width are the choice for the majority of decorating, maintenance and general building applications, whilst our range of narrow width towers are perfect for stairwells, alleys and narrow forecourts. We also have an extensive stock of non-conductive (GRP towers), ideal for use in areas of chemical and electrical risk.

Low Level Access

Podium Steps and Adjustable Safety Platform Steps are ideal to be used as low level working stations. They are perfect for essential maintenance and repair work and are safer alternatives to ladders and steps.


The 2005 Work at Height Regulations state that ladders can still be used but advise that they should only be used as a means of getting to a workplace. If they have to be used as a workplace it should only be for light, short-term work. HSS recommend the use of a ladder safety foot to prevent slipping. HSS have a range of ladders and steps ideal for all your access needs.