Work safely at height or in a confined space

Roof, platform and walkway safety for working at height


Accidents can happen to people maintaining, cleaning, demolishing and inspecting building roofs. Remember, working on a roof can be dangerous. A fall from a roof will generally cause serious injury.

It's vital to ensure existing structures such as roofs and working platforms are safe.

Platforms and existing structures must be stable. They must support the weight of workers who need to use them and any equipment or materials they may need.

Make platforms safe

You must food platforms on firm ground or on a stable structure to prevent them from moving. For example, you should tie scaffolding to an existing structure following the manufacturers' or designers' instructions.

Consider using covers over fragile roof lights and other fragile surfaces. You must erect guard rails, boards or other barriers, such as toe boards, to stop anyone falling off the edge of platforms or roofs, or through holes in the floor.

Choosing equipment

There are many types of platform, including:

  • tower and general scaffolding
  • mobile and suspended equipment
  • mobile elevating work platforms

The type of equipment you use will depend on the:

  • working conditions and duration of work
  • number of users
  • risks of erecting the structure

Your health and safety risk assessment should help you choose the most suitable type of equipment to use.

You need to ensure that all work equipment, including tools, is well maintained and checked regularly. Remove all equipment from the platform at the end of the working day, and switch off any power supplies.