Informa Markets

Author Bio ▼

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
August 2, 2009

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

Impact of the Work at Height Regulations to be reviewed

The House of Lords is to examine the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR) to assess how they have been implemented by government, and their impact on those affected by them.

The Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee is calling for evidence from organisations and individuals with experience of the WAHR, among other statutory instruments introduced in the same year, to determine how they have worked, and if their implementation and impact have been as expected. Issues that the Committee will examine include: the cost of implementing the Regulations — was it more or less than originally anticipated by the Government; did the legislation achieve its stated objective; and have there been any unintended consequences with the way it has worked.

The WAHR were born of a 2001 European directive on temporary work at height, which was adopted in response to the accident record on falls from height across member states. There was some criticism at the time over ‘gold-plating’ by the HSE, which transformed the relatively short directive into a 166-page consultation document, and its implication that all work at height is undesirable and to be avoided where possible. The huge response to the consultation, and protracted debates over the ‘two metre-rule’ and the applicability of the Regulations to the adventure activities sector, among other issues, meant they were almost a year late coming into force.

A spokesperson for the Committee explained to SHP that this is the first time it has carried out an inquiry of this nature, and that the statutory instruments in this batch of under scrutiny were chosen on the basis that there were concerns raised during their original introduction. Its report, which will be published following the review, will inform the scrutiny process of the House of Lords, rather than seeking to determine the House’s final view of individual instruments.

The call for evidence, submission details, and previous Committee reports can be found here. The deadline for submission of written evidence is 11 September 2009.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments