Parliamentary group addresses height safety
An All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has released recommendations for improving height safety in construction.
The APPG released a report on height safety titled ‘Staying Alive: Preventing Serious Injury and Fatalities while Working at Height’ featuring recommendations for the industry. The group was formed in 2017 with the aim of addressing why 18% of work fatalities result from falls while working at height.
The report outlined the following recommendations:
- Introduce an enhanced reporting system through RIDDOR, which, at a minimum, records the scale of a fall, the method used, and the circumstances of the fall.
- Appoint an independent body that allows confidential, enhanced, and digital reporting of all near misses and accidents that do not qualify for RIDDOR reporting. Share the data collected by this independent body with government and industry to inform health and safety policy.
- Extend the “Working Well Together – Working Well at Height” safety campaigns to industries outside of the construction sector.
- Introduce an equivalent system to Scotland’s Fatal Accident Inquiry process that would be extended to the rest of the UK.
Alison Thewliss, chair of the APPG, said: “I hope that this report and the future work of the APPG, alongside government and industry, will help to bring about action to see these numbers drastically reduced, and ultimately brought down to zero.”
Safety product firm MSA has welcomed the action but says that more still needs to be done. They echo the APPGs suggestion of more data collected when falls do occur to prevent further incidents.
The report also addressed the challenges of Brexit and how health and safety regulations may be affected. The report calls for working at height to be ‘no less safe’ after Brexit and 97% of construction businesses surveyed by manufacturer’s association EEF said they did not want any change in regulations after the UK leaves the EU.
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