The National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) has written a letter to the UK government in response to the proposed scrapping of the Working at Height Regulations.
The letter expresses ‘grave’ concerns over the potential consequences of removing these regulations and their impact on the safety of workers who work at height.
As previously reported, the government is proposing to axe the Working at Height regulations if a Bill, The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform Bill), is passed. The Bill seeks to remove approximately 2400 EU-derived laws currently remaining in the UK statute book following the UK leaving the EU.
The NASC, a scaffolding trade association representing many UK scaffolding and access companies, including some of the largest, has long been a strong advocate for maintaining the Working at Height Regulations.
In the letter addressed to the Secretary of State, Grant Shapps MP, the NASC stresses the importance of these regulations in ensuring the safety of workers who are at risk of falling from heights.
The regulations were introduced in 2005 and have since been updated to reflect the changing nature of work at height. The NASC points out in the letter that: ‘the year before the Work at Height Regulations 2005 were introduced, 67 fatalities occurred due to falls from height. Last year the number of fatalities was reduced to 29’, the letter reads.
Overall the NASC argues that the scrapping of the regulations could significantly increase the number of accidents and fatalities caused by falls from height. They point out that workers exposed to these risks need to be protected by appropriate safety measures, including adequate training and equipment.
The NASC also highlights the importance of ensuring that the regulations are fit for purpose and are updated to reflect the changing nature of work at height.
In conclusion, the NASC strongly advocates for the retention of the Working at Height regulations, and they have called on the government to reconsider their proposal to scrap these important safety measures.
The NASC believes these regulations are essential to ensure the safety of workers who work at height and that any changes to the regulations should be made with caution to ensure that the risks to workers are reduced and not increased.
The NASC’s letter, along with others from the Scaffolding Association, is a clear message to the UK government that the safety of workers must come first and that the removal of the Working at Height Regulations 2005 would be a severe mistake.