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What are the regulations around working at heights and using ladders or scaffolding?

January 13, 20233 min read

WorkSafeBC has several regulations around working at heights and using ladders or scaffolding to ensure worker safety. Here are some of the key requirements:

  1. Employers must ensure that workers are trained on how to work safely at heights and how to use ladders and scaffolding.

  2. Employers must conduct a hazard assessment to identify any risks associated with working at heights, such as the risk of falling, and take appropriate measures to control those risks.

  3. Ladders must be inspected regularly to ensure they are in good condition, and must be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

  4. Scaffolding must be designed, constructed, and maintained by a qualified person and inspected regularly to ensure it is safe to use.

  5. Workers must use fall protection systems, such as harnesses and lanyards, when working at heights above 3 meters (10 feet), or whenever there is a risk of falling.

  6. Workers must be provided with safe access to and from the work area, and the work area must be kept free of tripping hazards.

  7. Written procedures: Employers must have written procedures for working at heights, including hazard identification, risk assessment, and emergency procedures.

  8. Supervision: Employers must ensure that workers who are working at heights are adequately supervised, and that supervisors are trained in the safe use of fall protection systems, ladders, and scaffolding.


WorkSafeBC provides extensive guidance on ladder safety to prevent falls and injuries in the workplace. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  1. Select the right ladder for the job: Consider the height you need to reach, the weight capacity of the ladder, and the type of work you'll be doing.

  2. Inspect the ladder before each use: Check for any damage or wear, and make sure all parts are secure and in good working condition.

  3. Set up the ladder properly: Make sure the ladder is placed on a level, stable surface, and that the locks are engaged. If using an extension ladder, make sure it's extended to the proper length.

  4. Use the ladder safely: Always face the ladder when climbing up or down, and maintain three points of contact (both feet and one hand, or both hands and one foot) at all times. Do not overreach or lean the ladder to the side.

  5. Keep the area around the ladder clear: Remove any obstacles, and make sure the ladder is not placed in front of a door or in a high-traffic area.

  6. Train workers on ladder safety: Provide training to all workers who use ladders, and ensure they understand how to use them safely and follow all safety procedures.

You can find more information about ladder safety on the WorkSafeBC website under the "Ladders" section of the page. The page provides detailed information on ladder safety, including ladder selection and inspection, ladder set-up and use, ladder maintenance, and ladder safety training for workers. It also includes links to related resources, such as safety bulletins, guidelines, and videos, that can help you ensure compliance with WorkSafeBC regulations.


Related Article

OHS Regulation Part 11: Fall Protection

WorkSafeBC Scaffold Guide

WorkSafeBC Ladder Guide

WorkSafeBC Fall Protection Guide

WorkSafeBCSafety RegulationsFall ProtectionLadder SafetyFall HazardScaffolding SafetyJob Site HazardsWorkplace SafetySafety ProgramOHSOccupational Health and SafetyWCB

Erwin Caguiat

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