Parliamentary enquiry shines spotlight on working from height deaths

Employers across all industries can expect a major focus on working from height practice and regulations in 2018. Because a new All Party Parliamentary Group has joined forces with two trade associations to focus on the unacceptable number of deaths at work resulting from falls from height.
PASMA

MPs from across the political spectrum are working closely with PASMA, the Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association, and the Access Industry Forum to gather submissions from industry, hold an enquiry then develop a report and recommendations on reducing the number and frequency of such accidents.

Alison Thewlis, the Scottish National Party MP who chairs the new APPG, said: “That 18% of people killed at work did so as a result of a fall from height is a shocking statistic.” Peter Bennett, Managing Director of PASMA highlights the major concern, stating that “Although the number of overall workplace deaths has decreased since 2015, nearly one in five of those who lost their lives last year died as a result of a fall from height.”

The APPG for Working from Height and the industry bodies agree that better collection of statistics, more in-depth investigations and raised awareness of the dangers can all play their part in reducing fatality numbers. The APPG will welcome online submissions from all interested parties with a deadline of February 6. It has outlined 8 questions to help focus the evidence:

  1. What are the primary reasons for falls leading to injuries and deaths?
  2. Any comments on the existing Working at Height Regulations 2005?
  3. Any suggestions for new measures not currently required by law?
  4. What more can industry do to prevent accidents and share best practice?
  5. What should be the role of end users/customers?
  6. Would enhanced reporting promote better understanding of the problem?
  7. Thoughts on the current definition of competence for working from height
  8. Any suggestions for innovations, particularly using digital technology?

Peter Bennett from PASMA adds: ”I would urge all organisations involved in working at height to submit evidence to this enquiry, and help ensure that all of those who work at height return home safely every day.” You can provide evidence to the enquiry by email to appg@workingatheight.info.

And, of course, all this extra scrutiny is just one more reason to update your team’s knowledge of working safely at height with the appropriate Phoenix course.