Cellar safety and falls from height

Accidents involving cellars and stairs are all too common. They have caused serious injuries, and on occasion, some accidents have been fatal. In most cases these falls can be prevented.

You must think about risks to employees and visitors if your premises has

  • stairs
  • a gate
  • a goods hoist
  • fences or railings
  • a basement or cellar
  • a hatch in the floor or outside.

Download our cellar and stair safety leaflet and checklist (PDF - 269.62 KB)

Specifics to consider

  • barrier
  • railing
  • gate

within or surrounding, your premises must be of an adequate strength and height.

Gates, hatches and other openings should be able to be securely closed, including a lock. Any lock must be properly used at all times.

When a gate or hatch is in open position for example during deliveries there must be a fixed barrier not just a rope or chain to make sure employees or visitors can't fall.

Your staff must be trained and supervised to make sure these rules are followed.

You must ensure deliveries and collections are carried out as safely as possible. Read about safe procedures for deliveries and collections on the Health and Safety Executive's website.

Risk assessment

You are legally required to carry out a risk assessment of the risks of features, such as hatches and stairs in your premises. If you have five or more employees you must record your findings. You must make any improvements to reduce the risk to as safe a level as possible. Your risk assessments should be reviewed from time to time. Find information on completing a risk assessment on the Health and Safety Executive's website.

Food Health and Safety

Address: Waverley Court G1
4 East Market Street

Telephone: 0131 608 1100