Legislative Decree 81/08 : work at height

23 September 2022

What are the obligations of the employer in the use of equipment for work at height?

Article 111 of Legislative Decree 81/2008 defines its content. The Employer may find himself in various situations in which there may not be safety and ergonomic conditionssuch as to be able to perform temporary work at height. Precisely for this reason we report the criteria to be followed:

(a) prioritising collective protection measures over personal protection measures;

(b) the dimensions of the work equipment appropriate to the nature of the work to be carried out, the foreseeable stresses and risk-free movement.

  1. The employer shall choose the most appropriate type of system for access to temporary workplaces at height in relation to the frequency of movement, the difference in height and the duration of employment. The access system adopted must allow evacuation in case of imminent danger. The transition from an access system to platforms, decks, walkways and vice versa must not entail additional risks of falling.
  2. The employer shall ensure that a ladder is used as a workplace at height only in cases where the use of other work equipment considered safer is not justified because of the limited level of risk and short duration of use or the existing characteristics of the sites which it cannot change.
  3. The employer shall provide for the use of rope access and positioning systems to which the worker is directly supported, only in circumstances where, following the risk assessment, it appears that the work can be carried out safely and the use of other work equipment considered safer is not justified because of the short duration of use and the existing characteristics of the sites which it cannot modify. The same employer shall provide for the use of a seat fitted with special accessories depending on the outcome of the risk assessment and, in particular, the duration of the work and the ergonomie constraints.
  4. The employer shall, in relation to the type of work equipment adopted on the basis of the preceding subparagraphs, identify measures to minimise the risks to workers inherent in the equipment in question, providing, where necessary, for the installation of protective devices against falls. These devices must have a configuration and resistance such as to prevent or stop falls from workplaces at height and to prevent, as far as possible, any injury to workers. Collective fall protection devices may be interrupted only where ladders or ladders are present.
  5. Where the performance of work of a particular nature requires the temporary removal of collective fall protection, the employer shall take equivalent and effective safety measures. The work shall be carried out after the adoption of such measures. Once such work of a particular nature has been definitively or temporarily completed, collective fall protection equipment must be restored.
  6. The employer shall carry out temporary work at a height only if the weather conditions do not endanger the safety and health of workers.
  7. The employer shall ensure that it is prohibited to take and administer alcoholic beverages and spirits to workers engaged in temporary and mobile construction sites and work at height

Source: Legislative Decree 81/08 revision August 2022


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