RR521 - First evaluation of the impact of the work at height regulations. First evaluation of the removal of the 'two metre rule'

The Work at Height (WAH) Regulations were introduced in Great Britain on 6 April 2005. The impact of the new Regulations needs to be evaluated to meet both formal European Commission and Health & Safety Commission (HSC) requirements and in order to guide future policy. In addition, the HSC decided to evaluate the impact of the removal of the two metre rule for construction work, which was repealed by the WAH Regulations. This study was conducted in two stages. The first stage (Stage 1) was conducted in early 2005 prior to the introduction of the Work at Height Regulations and the second stage (Stage 2) was conducted one year after the Regulations were introduced.

This report sets out how both stages of the research studies into the impact of the new Work at Height Regulations and the removal of the two metre rule were carried out. The findings from both studies (one into the overall impact of the Regulations and one into the impact of the removal of the two metre rule) are presented separately for Stages 1 and 2. Both studies included the key industries in which high falls (from above two metres) and/or low falls (up to and including two metres) were a risk.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2021-04-20