Legislation Guide


The over-riding legislation is;

The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974

This sets out & clarifies that;

It is an employer's duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees and other people who might be affected by their business. Employers must do whatever is reasonably practicable to achieve this.

This means making sure that workers and others are protected from anything that may cause harm, effectively controlling any risks to injury or health that could arise in the workplace.

Employers have duties under health and safety law to assess risks in the workplace. Risk assessments should be carried out that address all risks that might cause harm in your workplace.

Employers must give you information about the risks in your workplace and how you are protected, also instruct and train you on how to deal with the risks.

When an employer provides a piece of equipment for you to use in the workplace this will generally fall under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER)*

Equipment that falls under PUWER includes;

Working at Height Equipment, including;

  1. Scaffolding
  2. Ladders - both temporary & Fixed
  3. Fall protection Systems
  4. Guardrail & handrail systems - both temporary & fixed
flat roof fall protection barrier

Post and chain barrier

Each of the above items has a separate set of European & British Standards. Which set out there requirements for periodic inspection and marking.

Inspection falls into a number of different categories & frequencies depending upon equipment & environment used. These are summarized below;

Scaffold Access Tower Ladder Temporary Ladder Fixed Handrail/Guardrail (temporary) Handrail/Guardrail (permanent) Cable based Fall protection system EN 7956 Class C (horizontal & Vertical)
Inspection upon completion of installation
Pre-use inspection
Periodic Inspection / Thorough Inspection

Both the Working at Height Association (WAHSA)* and the Ladder Association have produced a number of very useful guidance notes on the inspection of equipment and their markings / identification.

Safe Use of Ladders

Get a Grip Safety Guide *
Ladder Associate Ref 131 *


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