BS Code of practice design of buildings incorporating safe work at height

Issue 47 – March 2013

BS 8560:2012 Code of practice for the design of buildings incorporating safe work at height encourages designers to assess, as early as possible in the design process, how work at height can be minimised, and where required, the provision of practical, efficient, cost-effective solutions for the safety of those who work at height.

New build and refurbishment projects require people towork at heightover the lifespan of a building to construct, clean, maintain, and repair it. By its nature, work at height is hazardous and presents the risk of a fall. Falls from height account for a significant proportion of fatalities and serious injuries experienced during construction and maintenance. As a significant health and safety risk, it is important that everyone who works in the construction industry give it appropriate attention. Designers are pivotal in the early stages of this process.

BS 8560 includes an Options matrix tool intended to assist the design team to:

  • analyse the conflicting demands and constraints of the project
  • assess these as part of a 'risk management' process
  • record these issues in a visually explanatory method
  • provide a visually clear project 'deliverable' document that can be used to develop and eventually explain the rationale for the agreed project team solution.

Summarised from BSI's website.

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→ Read New Zealand information about preventing falls while working at height and the Best Practice Guidelines for Working at Height in New Zealand (, or call the Labour Group on 0800 20 90 20

→ Read about the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment enforcement expectations in its 'Proactive enforcement approach to preventing falls from height (Fact Sheet)' (


Published in building.

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