PASMA joined members of parliament, other trade bodies and industry leaders in Portcullis House, Westminster recently for a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Working at Height. The main topic of conversation was the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill, or “REUL Bill” as we’ll call it from here on, and the implications it has for the UK’s Work at Height Regulations.
The REUL Bill seeks to remove almost 4,000 pieces of EU-derived legislation from the UK statute book following Brexit. These laws will be automatically repealed on 31 December 2023 unless ministers take specific action to save them. This includes the Work at Height Regulations, along with other important health and safety rules.
PASMA was represented at the well-attended APPG meeting on 28 March by our managing director Peter Bennett OBE, technical director Don Aers, head of strategic engagement Jason Carlton and several of our members. Support for the Work at Height Regulations was clear among the 60+ people gathered in the room.
Peter, who is also chair of the Access Industry Forum (AIF), spoke on behalf of PASMA members, telling attendees that “it’s difficult to envisage a workplace without the certainty and focus of the Work at Height at Regulations.”
He reminded those present that the Work at Height Regulations set out to prevent deaths and injuries caused by falls from height and that their effectiveness in doing so is indisputable. In fact, the UK is now a world-leader in the prevention of falls from height.
However, falls from height remain the leading cause of workplace fatalities and a major cause of serious, often life-changing, injuries.
Peter went on to say: “It is our contention that, rather than removing regulations, we should be applying efforts to improve working at height. It is our view that any action which would seek to remove or dilute the Work at Height Regulations would inevitably lead to a more unsafe environment for those working at height, higher incidence of fatalities and increased costs to the UK economy.”