Latest update: 26/10/2022

Non-binding guide to good practice for implementing Directive 2001/45/EC (Work at a height)

"How to choose the most appropriate work equipment for performing temporary work at a height?" is the subtitle of this guide published by the EU Commission in 2007.

Work at height poses serious safety risks. Directive 2001/45/EC amended the Work Equipment Directive (Directive 89/655/EEC) and introduced minimum health and safety requirements for the use of work equipment provided for temporary work at a height, in particular scaffolds, ladders and ropes. Directive 2009/104/EC has replaced 89/655/EEC and its amendments.
The main purpose of this guide is to help employers, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, choose and use work equipment correctly, on the basis of a risk assessment, and according to the type and duration of work and ergonomic constraints. 

The chapter Key points for prevention provides general information on work at height such as how to carry out a risk assessment and how to apply the hierarchy of prevention. The chapter Equipment for temporary work at heights includes more detailed information and good practices for specific types of equipment:

  • scaffolding; 
  • ladders;
  • Individual mobile platforms and cantilevered platforms;
  • rope access techniques;
  • other equipment such as mobile elevated work platforms.

Publication details
Published by: Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (European Commission)
Publication date: 2007
Number of pages: 88 pp.

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