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New British Standard for the Delivery of Training

BS 8454:2006
Code of Practice for the Delivery of Training & Education for Work at Height & Rescue

This British Standard - prepared by BSI Technical Committee PH/5, Industrial safety belts and harnesses – has been published and came into effect on 31 May 2006.

Falls from a height are one of the largest causes of death and injury in the workplace. There is therefore an increasing demand for people to receive training for work at height. This demand is driven partly by legislation, as the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (Regulation 5) explicitly require anyone working at height to be competent, and partly by an increasing trend within industry for a professional approach to be taken to work activities which are potentially dangerous.

There are many national, European and international standards which specify systems and equipment for work at height, and codes of practice for the use of such systems and equipment in the workplace.

The standard gives recommendations and guidance on the delivery of training and education for work at height, including rescue, and is applicable to training for work which falls within the scope of the Work at Height Regulations 2005.

The standard is:

• applicable to training for work at height in an industrial context, including work at height in factories and in the construction, civil engineering and cleaning sectors.
• intended for use by all organizations and individuals providing such training and/or education, including organizations which provide such training to their own employees.
• applicable to all locations where such training is provided, whether at a dedicated training facility or at other training sites.
• intended to apply to course-based training and education.
• intended to apply to course-based training and education. (It is not intended to apply to the provision by an employer of ongoing experience-based training and education in the workplace, where the subject matter of the training being provided is the job itself, e.g. as provided by an apprenticeship. However, employers providing such training would probably benefit from the advice given as many of the principles do apply and offer good practice.)

The standard does not give recommendations on course content. The Advisory Committee on Work at Height Training (ACWAHT) has published a Work at Height Awareness Syllabus, which gives basic information on safe working practices for work at height that it recommends should be covered in training courses. I commend the use of the guidance and recommendations in BS 8454: 2006 to all those who deliver training for work at height and rescue.

David Thomas
HM Principal Specialist Inspector of Health and Safety
Construction Division Technology Unit (CDTU)
Health and Safety Executive (HSE), UK
Technical Adviser to HSE’s Falls Programme


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