Fall protection for working at height

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

If you own a company in the Netherlands and you or your employees work at height, you must offer fall protection. Fall protection is required in the following situations:

  • Your employees work at 2.5 metres or higher
  • Your employees work below 2.5 metres, but there is a danger of falling
  • Your employees work on a surface that moves or can start moving, causing them to fall

How do you offer fall protection?

To protect your employees from falling, you must do the following:

  • Use a secured scaffolding, an aerial platform or a work floor
  • You must place fences, railings and guardrails
  • You must secure openings in the floors and walls

If you cannot take these measures, then you must use safety nets, harness belts and harness cords. Your risk inventory and evaluation will help you decide when you need to use fall protection and in which situation. The employer is not the only one who has to take measures. Employees must do everything in their power to ensure they can work at height safely. If an employee uses the fall protection in the wrong way, changes or moves the protection, he or she can be fined.

Personal fall protection

If placing collective fall protection, like railings or fences, is not possible? Then make sure your employees use personal fall protection, like a harness belt and a harness cord.

Avoid using steps and ladders

Avoid using steps or ladders as much as possible. Ladders are primarily intended to reach the work space, not as a work space. If you and your employees do use steps and ladders, pay attention to these points:

  • Employees must always have good support and grip
  • The ladder must be straight
  • The ladder must be placed on a firm surface, that does not move
  • Rolling ladders must be secured before use
  • Ladders to another floor must reach at least one metre above the floor level
  • Employees must secure hanging ladders firmly, so that they cannot move or sway.

Climbing equipment must be periodically tested. If an employee works at a height of above 2.5 metres, ladders are not permitted.

Fall protection for lifting or hoisting machine

If your employees work in a lifting or hoisting machine with a safety cage, then they must be able to work safely. That means you have to:

  • Make sure the machine is meant for carrying persons, not goods
  • Make sure the machine meets safety requirements. You can tell from the CE-marking if it does.
  • Inform and instruct your employees on how to use the machine safely
  • See to it that your employees use the machine correctly.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO