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M108 Operational Working at Height

1. Security protective marking

1.1. Not protectively marked.


1.2. This policy has a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), which remains restricted under exemptions covered by the Freedom of Information Act.

2. Summary of changes

2.1 The following changes have been made to this policy on 14 November 2011:


      • Terminology has been updated in order to comply with the new Kent Policing Model.

2.2 This policy is scheduled for review in November 2014.

3. Introduction 

3.1.  This policy details the procedures, responsibilities and arrangements to enable Kent Police to develop effective compliance with Health and Safety legislation in respect of workplace activities involving operational working at height where, in the event of an accident or fall, significant injury is likely to be incurred.

3.2.  Individuals engaged in operational work at a low height are expected to dynamically assess the workplace in order to minimise any potential risk of injury.

3.3.  The Chief Constable has a duty to ensure safe working practices. To this end only trained and authorised personnel identified within this policy are permitted to carry out pre-planned or controlled policing operations, which involve working at height.


4. County standards

4.1.  Policing requires a range of operational responses that involve working at height.

4.2.  Selected personnel are trained and authorised to use specific equipment in order to carry out their role.

4.3.  Each Divisional Commander is responsible for ensuring that competent persons are available to inspect specialist equipment (including ladders) in line with the manufacturer's specifications.

4.4.  Training records and levels of authorisation will be maintained at a local level in respect of operational duties involving the use of specialist equipment.

4.5.  Operational policy and operating procedures will be established at local level in compliance with paragraph 4.8 of Force Policy L79 – Health and Safety.

4.6.  Where there is a spontaneous incident that does not call for urgent action but is controlled through established policing procedures, it will be expected that a supervisor, team leader or senior constable in charge of the incident, ensures that any foreseeable situation involving working at height is assessed, with a view to clear deployment instructions being given to those involved in the incident.


5. Levels of authorisation

5.1.  Within the General Policing Teams are specialist skills for particular Working at Height scenarios. A central database of levels of training and working authority will be maintained within the Training and Tactical Public Order Unit (TTPOU) as a county point of reference.


6. Training in Dynamic Risk Assessment 

6.1.  There is an obligation on Kent Police to ensure that all Operational Personnel are sufficiently skilled in carrying out dynamic assessments of workplace situations to avoid unnecessary and inappropriate accidents or injury.

6.2.  This policy identifies one aspect of policing where that skill and ability is of paramount importance. It is a corporate responsibility to ensure all personnel receives appropriate training in dynamic risk assessment in order to meet the requirements of this policy.



7. Equality impact assessment

7.1. This policy has been assessed with regards to its relevance to race and diversity equality. As a result of this assessment, the policy has been graded as having a low potential impact.

Policy reference: M108 Operational Working at Height
Policy owner: Chief Superintendent Tactical Operations
Contact point: Policy Unit, 01622 652622
Date last reviewed: 14 November 2011
Document last saved: 10 December 2011