Industry Leaders Rally to Save Work at Height Regulations

APPG on Working at Height meeting in Westminster. Credit: AIF

Around 60 attendees, including trade bodies and industry leaders, came together in Westminster to highlight the importance of preserving the Work at Height Regulations.

In a recent All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) meeting on Working at Height in Westminster, industry leaders, trade bodies, and members of Parliament convened to discuss the potential consequences of the Work at Height Regulations being repealed. 

As previously reported, The Access Industry Forum (AIF) has been campaigning to save the regulations from being scrapped, as they are under threat due to the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill going through Parliament.

Alison Thewlis, MP, Chair of the APPG, welcomed attendees and emphasised the importance of hearing from work-at-height professionals about their challenges and potential opportunities. 

Peter Bennett OBE, AIF Chair, expressed concern about the potential repeal of legislation and highlighted the importance of the Work at Height Regulations in preventing workplace fatalities and serious injuries caused by falls from height.

“The numbers of fatalities are sadly still too high despite working at height being regulated. There have been 683 families that have lost a loved one even in the 17 years that the WAHR have been providing protection. That is enough to fill a Boeing 747-8,” Bennett said.

Ruth Wilkinson, Head of Policy at the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), emphasised that the focus should be on reinforcing, strengthening, and supporting the implementation of safety standards rather than deregulation. 

Stephen Green, HM Inspector of Health and Safety, pointed out that the most common cause of fatalities across all industries remains falls from height.

During the Q&A session, participants expressed support for saving the Work at Height Regulations and concern about the potential implications for other valuable regulations. Alison Thewlis encouraged attendees to lobby their MPs, while Peter Bennett OBE emphasised the need to keep making noise until the regulations are saved.

Wrapping up the meeting, Thewlis said, “it is clear that the work-at-height regulations are a fundamental part of keeping people safe.” 

The APPG says it will continue to seek assurances from the Secretary of State regarding the safety of the Work at Height Regulations and explore opportunities for a parliamentary debate on the issue.