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WORK AT HEIGHT GUIDANCE GETS MAKE-OVER

Government claims work at height guidance success

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced (28/01) an overhaul of guidance on working at height as part of the government long-term economic plan to abolish or improve “outdated, burdensome or over-complicated regulations” which waste businesses’ time and money.

More than a million British businesses and 10 million workers are estimated to carry out jobs involving work at height every year and falls are one of the biggest causes of death and serious injury.

Key changes include:

  • simple advice about do’s and don’ts when working at height to ensure clarity on what the law requires;
  • busting myths about health and safety law e.g. banning of ladders when they can still be used;
  • targeted advice to helping business manage serious risks sensibly and proportionately; and
  • helping workers to be clearer about their own responsibilities for working safely.

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 (WAHR) set out the law as it applies in Great Britain. The regulations have not changed.

The new guidance is available free online: 

HSE is said to have overhauled guidance for work at height, setting out in “clear, simple terms what to do and what not to do” thereby ‘busting’ common myths that can confuse and mislead employers.

 Vital businesses not bogged down in ‘red tape’

 Health and Safety Minister Mike Penning said:

 “As part of the government’s long-term economic plan, it’s and instead have useable advice about protecting their workers.

 As a former fireman, I know that the 10 million people who are working at height in this country face risks in their job. But I’m also clear that managing these risks can be done sensibly, by giving simple and clear advice and tackling the myths that can confuse employers.”

Judith Hackitt, Chair of HSE, said:

“It’s important to get working at height right. Falls remain one of the biggest causes of serious workplace injury – with more than 40 people killed and 4,000 suffering major injuries every year.

We have a sensible set of regulations and have been working with business to improve our guidance – making it simpler and clearer and dispelling some of the persistent myths about what the law requires.

The result is advice that employers can count on to help them manage their businesses sensibly and proportionately.”

Janet Nerenberg, Health and Safety Manager at Warburtons, said:

“This revised guidance is most welcome, a good and useful hand-out that we can use in-house to support any training. It is a big improvement on previous information and the images in particular are clear and much improved.”

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