Government plans to scrap Working at Height Regs

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The Government is planning to scrap the UK’s Work at Height Regulations at the end of 2023 unless ministers in Westminster can be convinced to rescue them.

The Government is poised to scrap the Working at Height Regulations and over 2,400 other laws and regulations at the end of 2023 following the UK leaving the European Union.

The Revocation and Reform Bill which is currently being passed through Parliament seeks to remove EU-derived laws that remain on the UK statute book following Brexit.

The Bill proposes to remove many laws that are entwined with the EU and the Working at Height Regulations is just one of them. Others set for the chop include the Manual Handling Operations Regulations and Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations.

Repeal Campaign

Today the Access Industry Forum (AIF) is urging all in the industry to join its campaign to help save the Work at Height Regulations.

The AIF said: “No one was calling for the repeal of the Work at Height Regulations. There was no campaign for reform; no one saying it’s unfit for purpose or burdensome. In fact, guidance has been simplified over the years. There has been no consultation, no parliamentary scrutiny. The issue is simply that they originated from an EU directive, so are being swept up in this mass clear out of regulations – despite extensive UK stakeholder consultation taking place before they were created and being an established UK law for almost two decades.

If the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill passes, the whole lot will automatically be axed on 31 December 2023 unless the government takes action to save individual regulations.”

AIF has submitted written evidence to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee, which is now considering the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill.

It also has united the ten principal trade associations and federations involved in work at height: ATLAS, EPF, FASET, IPAF, IRATA, Ladder Association, NASC, PASMA, SAEMA and WAHSA.

Support the Campaign

The AIF is asking many in our sector to urgently write to their MP to ask them to push for the Work at Height Regulations to be assimilated into UK law and excluded from ‘sunset clauses’ within the EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill.

Chair of the AIF, Peter Bennett OBE said: “Employers don’t want falls from height in their workplaces. They want their workers to be safe and free from harm. They also want to avoid the investigations, negative publicity, delays, increased insurance premiums and upheaval of responding to an accident. The Work at Height Regulations is a compact piece of legislation that creates a useful framework for employers to manage the risks and avoid falls from height.

The rules are straightforward and practical, they’re embedded in existing policies, procedures and training, and although they’re not perfect, the most important thing is that they work. I’m in no doubt that the Work at Height Regulations have saved lives and if this legislation cannot be rescued from the scrapheap, it’s workers who will pay the highest price of all.”

For more information please visit the AIF website.

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