APPG launches inquiry into falls from height

Posted On 03 Jan 2018
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The newly formed All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Working at Height, chaired by Glasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss and supported by the Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association (PASMA), has launched its first inquiry into the numbers of serious injuries and fatalities which occur as a result of a fall from height.

Over 30 industry stakeholders attended the launch of the inquiry in December, and along with MPs Kevin Foster and Alison Thewliss, took part in a discussion about the key issues and the scope for the inquiry.

The inquiry will be open for evidence submissions from interested stakeholders until February 6th 2018. The APPG will consider evidence and develop a report and recommendations on how the frequency of serious injuries and fatalities can be reduced.

In 2016/2017, 18% of those who died at work were killed as a result of a fall from height. PASMA, and the Access Industry Forum, believes that there are a number of issues that should be addressed urgently to reduce these figures. These include better collection of statistics relating to workplace falls, more in-depth investigations and raising awareness of the dangers of working at height.

The APPG will be seeking answers to questions such as “In your opinion, what are the primary reasons for falls, or falling objects, which cause serious injuries or fatalities when working at height?” and “Do you have any comments about the existing regulations for work at height, as set out in the Work at Height Regulations, 2005?”. Also under scrutiny is what the industry can do to avoid falls from height and the role that end users/customers should have in ensuring safe work at height.

Alison Thewliss, Chair of the APPG for Working at Height said: “That 18% of people killed at work did so as a result of a fall from height is a shocking statistic. The APPG for Working at Height has brought together concerned MPs from several parties to investigate the reasons for falls from height and ensure current regulations are sufficient for protecting workers at height in the UK.”

Peter Bennett, Managing Director of PASMA said: “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 Access Industry forum, and PASMA are glad to support the work of this new APPG, which aims to shine a light on the reasons for falls from height in the workplace. We look forward to seeing its recommendations to the Health and Safety Executive on how the number of people and families affected by falls from height can be further reduced.

“I would urge all organisations engaged in working at height to submit evidence to this inquiry – and help to ensure that all of those who work at height return home safely every day.”