Is Training Necessary For Work At Height


If you’re looking to take on a job that requires you to work at height, you may be wondering whether any training is necessary. The answer is yes, and here we explain why, and what exactly is required:

The Importance Of Training

HSE requires everyone carrying out work at height, or using equipment for work at height, to undergo some formal training. According to HSE:

MEWP operators should have attended a recognised operator training course and received a certificate, card, or license, listing the categories of MEWP the bearer is trained to operate.” []

This requirement is due to the dangerous nature of working from height. Falls caused by this manner of work is the most common cause of accidents in the workplace. In fact, RIDDOR statistics show that in 2015, 36% of all employee injuries were the result of slips and falls.” []

As an employer, it is your responsibility that your employees have undergone the necessary tower scaffold training courses.

MEWP Operator Training Categories

All manner of access platform equipment require specific training in order to work at height safely. This includes everything from a hydraulic platform, to simple step ladders. The categories include:

Static Vertical (1a): Vertical personnel platforms (static)

Static Boom (1b, 1b+): Self-propelled booms (outriggers), trailers/push-arounds, vehicle-mounted platforms

Mobile Vertical (3a, 3a+): Scissor lifts, vertical personnel platforms (mobile)

Mobile Boom (3b, 3b+): Self-propelled booms

Push Around Vertical (PAV): Push around verticals


After the course has been completed, there will be model specific procedures that will need familiarisation. These include:

• Instructions and warnings from manufacturers
• Special model features
• Specific model control functions
• Safety device functions
• Emergency lowering procedures
• Whether the equipment requires a lanyard or harness

Scaffold Towers

If you are involved in the assembly, moving, or dismantling of a scaffold tower, you should have formal training. If you are working on a tower that has been assembled for you, you do not need formal training however, you need to be aware of the risks involved with the task or supervised by somebody who is.

Ladders And Stepladders

Although ladders are a piece of traditional equipment, they are largely misused for jobs that require a person to work at height. Formal training for this isn’t always required, but it is readily available, and Ability International offers a course in the safe use and inspection of portable ladders and steps. While many consider it unnecessary, we recommend ladder training to avoid any accidents or legal implications that can follow.

Ability International Training

Here at Ability International Ltd, we offer professional and certificated training for all types of Work at Height. Our courses range from steps and ladders through to custom built, sophisticated tower systems. Visit our website to browse our full list of courses including our on-line e-learning options.

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