Guidance for employers on best practice for working at height is to be revised by the health and safety watchdog.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is reviewing thousands of regulations it says should be axed or simplified as part of its Red Tape Challenge to reduce bureaucracy and help businesses.
Major cause of death
This is something that the Department of Work and Pensions, which oversees the HSE, does not take lightly. A Government spokesman said that more than a million British businesses and 10 million workers are estimated to carry out jobs involving some form of work at height every year, adding that falls are one of the biggest causes of death and serious injury at work.
The HSE is hoping its clear, simple terms of what to do and what not to do when working at height will help bust common myths that can confuse and mislead employers.
Employers who fall foul of health and safety laws usually end up paying work accident compensation. But will the streamlining of these regulations lead to a rise in claims?
Health and safety minister Mike Penning said, “As part of the government’s long-term economic plan, it’s vital that businesses are not bogged down in complicated red tape 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 the HSE, added, “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 4000 suffering major injuries every year.”
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