Safety when working at height

18 September 2019

‘Work at height’ means work in any situation where, if no precautions were in place, a person could fall and become injured.

Fall from ladder


Working at height might be required for tasks such as changing light bulbs, cleaning, painting and decorating, working in ringing and clock chambers, etc.

Regulations related to working at height

Regulations which relate to working at height require churches to: 

  • organise and plan the work 
  • ensure work for height is carried out by competent persons 
  • take steps to avoid risks presented by working at height 
  • select the correct specification of equipment for the work
  • avoid risks from fragile surfaces, falling objects and other dangerous areas 
  • inspect work equipment and places where the work will occur.
Remember - work should only be carried out at height if there is no safer way to complete the task. 

Hazards to consider

  • Adverse weather making work at height unsafe (for example, high winds, snow and ice, etc.)
  • Access equipment unsuitable for the task in hand
  • Damaged ladders, stepladders or other access equipment
  • Unauthorised alterations to equipment
  • Ladders, stepladders and other equipment incorrectly used (for example, not in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions)
  • Unprotected fragile roofing or ceiling material where work or access is required (including roof voids)
  • Inadequate rails or barriers at raised edges (for example, in galleries and triforia) 
  • Contact with obstructions, structural elements or other architectural features
  • Inadequate edge protection (such as, guard-rails and toe-boards) at roof level where work or access is required
  • Unprotected roof lights or other fragile roofing material where work or access is required.
Baptist Insurance has developed a working at height checklist to help you to identify some of the most common activities requiring working at height and the control measures you can put in place to help minimise or eliminate the risk.
Document icon Risk man in hat