Parliamentary report demands major review into work at height culture


A new report has been published by The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) calling on the government and industry to undertake a major review of work at height.

The report published yesterday (26 February) is the result of a 12-month inquiry by AAPG exploring the working at height cultures and, most importantly the number of deaths and accidents caused by falls from heights.

A concerning 18% of people who die at work do so as a result of a fall from height.

The APPG is now demanding a major review of the working at heights policies and is asking what the Government and industry leaders can do to help keep the millions of working at height in the UK safe.

The report makes 4 primary recommendations to reduce the overall number of falls:

• The introduction of an enhanced reporting system through RIDDOR.

• The appointment of an independent body that allows confidential, enhanced and digital reporting of all near misses, to be shared with government and industry to inform health and safety policy.

• The extension of the Working Well Together – Working Well at Height safety campaigns.

• An equivalent system to Scotland’s Fatal Accident Inquiry process extended to the rest of the UK.

Read the full report here

Chair of the APPG and MP for Glasgow Central, Alison Thewliss commented, “Every fall from a height can have life-altering consequences for workers and their families. There is an urgent need to improve work at height culture, yet this issue is sadly not at the top of a ‘decision-makers’agenda.”

A lack of empirical data prevents us from understanding the root causes of falls from height. This is compounded by a cultural obstacle when it comes to supporting people to report unsafe practices. We have made comprehensive recommendations to Government, but the APPG’s work does not stop here. Our report must be the first step in a wider process of systematic and cultural change.”

The next step in this essential process is for the APPG to ask for an additional period of consultation. With a review of how to engage with difficult to reach sectors, the role of digital technologies in improving safety and also the appropriateness of financial penalties.