UK associations have come out in support of new Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance for working at height.
The Access Industry Forum (AIF), The Ladder Association and PASMA, the trade association representing the mobile access tower industry, have all welcomed the clearer, easier to follow guidance providing a better understanding of the practical implications of the Work at Height Regulations - which remain unchanged.
AIF chair Peter Bennett said, “It was clear from the outset that where problems existed with the Work at Height Regulations, they arose from the misinterpretation of the regulations rather than from the regulations themselves.
Mr Bennett added, “With falls from height still the biggest cause of workplace deaths and one of the main causes of major injuries, what was needed was better awareness and understanding of the regulations, rather than a dilution of the law. This could potentially have put people at greater risk with shattering consequences for their families, friends and colleagues.”
The guidance follows Professor Ragnar Lofstedt’s independent review of health and safety regulation, and an extensive consultation period with the relevant UK associations.
PASMA chairman Chris Blantern added, “Throughout this process the aim was to help business and industry – particularly micro businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) – to adopt practical and, most importantly, proportionate measures, making it easier for people to comply with the law and manage the risks associated with working at height in a sensible way.”
The Ladder Association particularly supports new guidance relevant to its sector: Safe use of ladders and step ladders - a brief guide. Chairman Cameron Clow explained, “Ladders are a versatile and invaluable piece of workplace equipment but, like all other forms of access equipment, there are some common sense rules for using them safely. Fortunately, we now have some straightforward, easy-to-understand guidance from the HSE.”
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