UK & European Legal Requirements regarding fall protection 

European Legislation and Compliance UK

In April 2005, new Working at Height Regulations were introduced which should be considered in addition to the information below.

Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM)

As with the original 1994 legislation, the newly updated Regulations continue to place duties on all those who contribute to the health and safety of a construction project i.e. clients, designers, contractors and planning supervisors, requiring the production of certain documents, the health and safety plan and the health and safety file.

Specifically the designer’s duties include the avoidance of risk to people

  • carrying out construction work
  • cleaning & maintaining
  • using a structure as a place of work
  • demolition & dismantling
  • others who may be affected by the above

The main changes in the 2007 Regulations were made to simplify the existing system by unifying CDM and the Construction (Health, Safety & Welfare) Regulations 1996 into a single package. Additionally there is a more explicit duty on architects to eliminate hazards and reduce risks during the design stage as far as is reasonably practicable. Plus there is a new duty to ensure that workplaces comply with Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations.

Health and Safety in Roof Work (Booklet HSG 33)

This document provides guidance on how to work safely on roofs and how to design and plan for safe working. It covers new buildings, repair, maintenance, cleaning work and demolition. A copy of the booklet can be purchased through the HSE’s online book shop:

Further details on UK Legislation can be found at HSE’s website


Decree 65-48 of 8th January 1965, modified by decree 95-608 of 16th May 1995:

Stipulate that protection against falls must be provided when and work or movement exposes any worker to a fall of 3 metres or more.

‘Le Code du travail’: Article L230-3 ‘General principles of prevention’

Stipulate that the employer must take the necessary measures to ensure safety and to protect the health of the staff employed.


Arbowet artikel 5 (verplichting tot Risico Inventarisatie & Evaluatie)

Arbobeleidsregels 3.16 (werkzaamheden boven de 2,5 meter)

Arbeidsomstandighedenbesluit artikel 2.29 (ontwerpers-bronbeleid-stand der techniek)

Arbobesluit voor de Bouw artikel 2.6 en 2.31 (verantwoording opdrachtgevers)


Royal Decree passed in Spain (2177/2004) in particular:

  • 4.1.3—Rope safety systems will be limited to situations in which the risk assessment shows that the work to be carried out can be done in a safe manner, plus that the use of a more secure system is not justifiable.
  • 4.1.4—Where necessary, fall arrest systems will be installed.
  • 4.2.3—Work carried out at heights of more than 3.5m from the ground, and which require actions which would risk the worker stability will only be carried out using personal fall arrest systems, or alternative fall arrest systems.

Prevention of Labour Risk Law: 31/1995 and amendments to: 54/2003

It is the employers obligation to guarantee health and safety in the work place.

Royal Decree 773/1997 Minimum health and safety requirements pertaining to the workers’ use of personal protective equipment.

Royal Decree 1215/1997 Minimum health and safety requirements for the use of equipment by workers.

NTP 448 Work on light roofing materials.