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Government urged not to scrap or relax Working at Height Regulations

The Scaffolding Association is calling on the Government not to scrap or relax Working at Height Regulations.

The Revocation and Reform Bill which is currently being passed through Parliament includes over 2,400 laws and regulations which are being considered following the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Between now and the end of 2023, government ministers can decide which ones to keep, amend or scrap completely.

Included within the Bill are the Working at Height Regulations (WAHR). Since their introduction, there is no doubt that they have helped to improve safety and reduce fatalities within the workplace.

In the last full year of statistics prior to the introduction of WAHR (2003/04), there were 67 workplace fatalities as a result of falls from height. This number has fallen to 29 in 2021/22.

Despite this improvement, statistics which are published annually by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) consistently demonstrate that working at height remains the single largest contributing factor to workplace fatalities and that almost a quarter of all workplace fatalities occur because of falls from height.

Robert Candy, Chief Executive, Scaffolding Association said: “This association fully supports WAHR and does not believe that they are burdensome or onerous for businesses to implement.

“We are seeking urgent reassurance from ministers that the government does not intend to remove WAHR and that careful consideration will be given to ensure that any amendments do not inadvertently compromise the safety of workers within our sector and the wider construction industry.

“As with all matters of importance to our members and the scaffolding and access industry, we have offered ministers our expertise and support and hope that they take the opportunity to understand the implications before they make any decisions.”

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