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Guardrails, toe-boards and barriers

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We alway used to say that guard rails, toe boards etc were required for any platform over 2.m  Is this still the situation or has the height been reduced?  If so what is the recommended height now? Also what about hop ups - do they come within the regulations?

I am a lecturer in carpentry & joinery  and want to make sure that I give my students the correct information.


Working at Height is now governed by the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR). These regulations revoked the earlier construction regulations which specified the "2 metre rule". We therefore do not have this threshold.

The WAHR place a duty on the dutyholder to avoid work at height where it is reasonably practicable to carry out this work safely otherwise than at height. Where work has to be carried out at height, then the dutyholder shall take suitable and sufficient measures to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable , any person falling a distance liable to cause personal injury.

It is recognised in this duty that injury can occur from a fall of any height, not just from above say 2 metres. Also falling objects can cause injury from below a drop distance of 2 metres. Therefore guardrails and toeboards etc should be considered on the basis of a suitable and sufficient risk assessment.

There is no recommended height now. The Regulations have a series of schedules that set out requirements for specific circumstances and schedule 2 sets out the requirements for guardrails, toe-boards, barriers and similar collective means of protection.

A link to the regulations is here:

All forms of work access equipment for working at height come under the Regulations , which includes hop-ups. Besides our falls from height webpage we also have one on construction which might be of interest to you as well at


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