Focus on Falls from Height
In our regular monthly News Roundup last week which deals with news and developments in the construction industry, we reported on the fact that Glasgow Central’s Member of Parliament, Alison Thewliss, plans to set up an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Working at Height. Ms. Thewliss has been collaborating with the Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association (PASMA) after they approached her with a request to collaborate with the industry, policy makers and other interested parties to raise awareness of falls from height and bring more attention to this risky work, particularly among policy makers here in the UK.
Falls from height are still one of the main causes of death and serious injury in the workplace, despite stringent health and safety legislation designed to make working in Britain safer than ever before. You may be surprised to learn that work at height activity isn’t just limited to the construction sector – in 2014, it was estimated that one million business and 10 million workers here in the UK carry out duties that involve work at height of some type.
Back in December of last year, the APPG launched an inquiry to investigate serious injuries and deaths whilst working at height and there has been interest from a wide range of diverse stakeholders, including prominent industry insiders, trade associations, SMEs and main contractors, all willing to engage constructively in order to provide practical solutions designed to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries from falls while working at height.
The APPG has also been listening to testimony from victims of falls from height and is now determined to raise the profile of this issue in order to effect real change in the future. The APPG’s initial report is just the beginning of an initiative that is designed to ensure that the future will bring a reduction in the number of falls from height in the workplace here in Britain.
PASMA, along with the 11 member organisations of the Access Industry Forum (AIF) claims that there are several issues that need to be addressed urgently in order to help reduce the number of falls from height. These include the following:
- A more effective method of collecting statistics relating to falls in the workplace
- More in-depth investigations following accidents
- Raising awareness of the risks involved when working at height
- The need to ensure that the most appropriate piece of access equipment is selected for the task at hand.
PASMA is inviting all organisations involved in working at height (no matter what industry or trade) to submit any evidence they have to the inquiry in order to help ensure that those who work at height return home safe and sound at the end of every working day.
The APPG is planning to publish a range of achievable and workable recommendations on working at height to regulators and the government in the autumn. We will keep our readers updated on this matter – if you don’t want to miss out on the news, why not follow us on Twitter or Facebook and get notified when the news comes in?