The dangers of working at height are obvious to all concerned. High safety standards are essential for any activities carried out at height. We at Uni-Safe Access are committed to meeting health and safety requirements for its employees and customers.

Some of the key legislation relevant to access equipment are listed below.

Click on the buttons to view or download the HSE guidance documents in PDF format.

If you would like further HSE information on the legislation you can visit the HSE website: www.hse.gov.uk

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

Primary legislation was introduced in the form of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and offers a general guide to health and safety duties in the workplace.

The Work at Height Regulations 2005

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 came into force on 6 April 2005. The Regulations apply to all work at height where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury. Further subordinate legislation covers more specific issues regarding the equipment used for working at height.

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

PUWER covers any equipment which is used by an employee at work. This includes lifting equipment and ladders.

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment 1998 (LOLER)

LOLER covers the legal requirements in relation to lifting equipment.

BS 7883

First introduced in 1997, BS 7883 created comprehensive guidelines around the design, installation, and especially maintenance of anchor devices, such as Class A Eyebolts.

It was revised in 2005, and more recently 2019, where it was expanded upon to reflect advancements within fall protection systems technology. It is this most recent amendment which could affect your fall protection solution.

The legislation now covers five 'types' of anchor system:

TYPE A: Permanently fixed Anchor Systems, incorporating one or more structural anchors, such as an eyebolt.

TYPE B: Removable and transportable anchors that do not incorporate a structural anchor, and hence are not permanently fixed to a structure.

TYPE C: Structurally anchored Anchor Systems, incorporating a flexible anchor line such as wire rope, fibre rope, or webbing.

TYPE D: Structurally anchored Anchor Systems incorporating a rigid rail or tube.

TYPE E: Anchor Devices relying solely on mass and friction between themselves and load-bearing surfaces.

Regular inspection and recertification by a competent third party is a legal responsibility, and we have made it a core part of our business.

This change to the standard, guided by the British Standards (PH5) Committee will go a long way to ensure the ongoing integrity of occupational health and safety in the UK. However, it does mean many systems installed and even re-certified prior to the 2019 amendment might no longer be compliant.

How has 7883:2019 changed inspection & recertification?

The amended standard introduces four categories of inspection results:

Pass: the system is fully compliant, satisfies all recommendations, and is safe to use with the corresponding personal protective equipment (PPE).

Conditional pass: the system satisfies the previous standard and does not pose any immediate concern, but it does not meet all recommendations of BS 7883:2019, including the absence of vital information. The system, and corresponding PPE should be labelled as remaining in service with a detailed inspection report produced, and issued to the duty holder, with recommendations on how to meet the new standard, and a timescale for completion.

Conditional fail: the system meets a previous standard but represents an immediate safety concern which can be improved to meet the recommendations of BS 7883:2019. The system must be taken out of service and labelled accordingly, with an inspection report issued to the duty holder, detailing the necessary remedial work and a timescale for the system to be returned to service.

Fail: the system does not satisfy the recommendations of BS 7883:2019, nor any previous standard, and represents an immediate safety issue which is beyond improvement or repair. The system must be removed from service immediately and labelled clearly that it should not be used. Where possible, it should be decommissioned with an inspection report produced and issued to the duty holder.