Important Health and Safety Executive e-Bulletin

To be completed by:

Time: - | Venue:

Clearing gutters, balls on the roof, putting up displays.......Working at Height (WAH) is common place in schools. Unfortunately, every year preventable WAH accidents in schools occur. However, If done properly WAH can be safe..

It is essential that schools have robust risk assessments and systems of work to ensure that staff stay safe when working at heights. Also think about these questions.

  •  Are ladders and other access equipment formally inspected (at least termly) and are the checks recorded?

Teaching and support staff:

  • When staff put up displays do they always use suitable access equipment such as small step ladders?
  • Do they always wear appropriate foot wear when putting up displays?
  • Have they been given basic information about WAH safely?
  • Does school management turn a blind eye to bad practice eg. letting staff stand on swivel chairs etc?

Site staff:

  • Are your site staff that work at heights appropriately trained?
  • Is it clear what the boundries are? i.e. what WAH they are expected to do and NOT do?


  • Are you confident that contractors who come onto your site are competent to work at height safely?
  • Do they have appropriate risk assessments and safe systems of work in place?

The HSE has issued the following e-bulletin as a result of a recent fatal accident investigation.

Further information / guidance can also be found on our website:


Published: 11/09/2017
Audience: All school Head Teachers and Business Managers
Contact: Adam Varley

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