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January 10, 2023

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Government urged not to scrap Working at Height Regulations by the Scaffolding Association

The Scaffolding Association has called on the Government not to scrap or relax Working at Height Regulations. SHP hears more from the Association below.

The Revocation and Reform Bill which is currently being passed through Parliament includes over 2,400 laws and regulations which are being considered following the UK’s exit from the European Union.

Between now and the end of 2023, government ministers can decide which ones to keep, amend or scrap completely.

Included within the Bill are the Working at Height Regulations (WAHR). Since their introduction, there is no doubt that they have helped to improve safety and reduce fatalities within the workplace.

In the last full year of statistics prior to the introduction of WAHR (2003/04), there were 67 workplace fatalities as a result of falls from height. This number has fallen to 29 in 2021/22.

Despite this improvement, statistics which are published annually by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) consistently demonstrate that working at height remains the single largest contributing factor to workplace fatalities and that almost a quarter of all workplace fatalities occur because of falls from height.

Robert Candy, Chief Executive, Scaffolding Association said; “This association fully supports WAHR and does not believe that they are burdensome or onerous for businesses to implement.

We are seeking urgent reassurance from ministers that the government does not intend to remove WAHR and that careful consideration will be given to ensure that any amendments do not inadvertently compromise the safety of workers within our sector and the wider construction industry.

As with all matters of importance to our members and the scaffolding and access industry, we have offered ministers our expertise and support and hope that they take the opportunity to understand the implications before they make any decisions”.

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Robin Dobson
Robin Dobson
1 year ago

H&S regulations are a very good guide and provide a focus point for the issues that they cover and will be a loss to H&S, but the Health and Safety at Work etc Act – Part 1(2) – General duties of employers to their employees – sec (1) It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees. I do not see how this legal requirement can be met without hazard identification, risk assessment and suitable controls. Loss of the regulations will remove… Read more »

Robin Dobson
Robin Dobson
1 year ago
Reply to  Robin Dobson

3 negative votes. is there any chance of having the reasons for the negative responses?

Joe Bloggs
Joe Bloggs
1 year ago
Reply to  Robin Dobson

Doubt it will ever happen….. the HSE would not be pleased, and would then propose a new set of regs in their place. Add to that insurance companies won’t be happy with it, and workers would turn their backs on companies who relax the standards, it won’t end well. As such, it’ll never happen.

David Adams
David Adams
1 year ago

Why is the Scaffolding Association jumping on the bandwagon when they have never helped implement any health and safety laws or written/produced any Health & Safety WAH guidance? oh, they produced a fact sheet on Covid. Do apologise. They promised their members many things over the years and have failed at every stage. If a football manager doesn’t perform, they are removed. I, for one, am amazed that the Scaffolding Association Members have not also evaluated their actual performance. The sole reason they have made this statement is that it has the possibility to be a considerable threat to them… Read more »

Joe Bloggs
Joe Bloggs
1 year ago

Even if the WAHR Regs were to go (they won’t), the same burden to manage risk will remain as part of the Management Regs 1999 (to manage risk in whatever shape it takes), and the HSW Act which will again, maintain the over-arching principles. This will be enforceable as the law has already enshrined principles in case law which will be upheld, and for many companies, doing away with W@ekug`kju uih` measures will (a) increase their insurance premiums, (b) increase liabilities, (c) cause them to fail to meet SSIP scheme criteria, and (d) encourage staff to walk out. I will… Read more »