Campaigning to save the UK Work At Height Regulations


Safety and Access supports the Access Industry Forum (AIF)  and The Scaffolding Association in its campaign to save the UK’s Work at Height Regulations from repeal.

The Scaffolding Association has appealed to business secretary Grant Shapps not to scrap the Work at Height Regulations (WAHR), which are set to expire at the end of the year.

The government’s post-Brexit Revocation and Reform Bill is currently making its way through Parliament, containing proposals to automatically scrap more than 2,400 laws and regulations derived from European Union regulations.

This includes the WAHR, which require employers to ensure that work at height is planned, supervised and carried out properly by competent people.

In a letter sent to Shapps, Scaffolding Association chief executive Robert Candy said: “This association fully supports the WAHR and does not believe that they are burdensome or onerous for businesses to implement.

“I urgently seek your reassurance that the government does not intend to remove WAHR and that careful consideration will be given to ensure that any amendments to do not inadvertently compromise the safety of workers within our sector and the wider construction industry.”

Ministers have the power to decide whether to keep any regulations on the list.

The association said that the WAHR, which were introduced in 2005, have helped improve safety and reduced fatalities in the workplace.

It cited statistics showing that in 2003/04 there were 67 workplace fatalities as a result of falls from height. In 2021/22 this number had fallen to 29.

Peter Bennett, chair of the Access Industry Forum, which represents trades involved in working at height, said: “The WAHR is a compact piece of legislation that creates a useful framework for employers to manage the risks and avoid falls from height.

“The rules are straightforward and practical, they’re embedded in existing policies, procedures and training, and although they’re not perfect, the most important thing is that they work.

“I’m in no doubt that the Work at Height Regulations have saved lives and if this legislation cannot be rescued from the scrapheap, it’s workers who will pay the highest price of all.”

More information on the campaign can be found HERE on the AIF’s website.

Safety and Access are advocates for keeping those that work at heigh safe. Our CISRS training can be found here.


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