The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched an overhaul of its guidance for working at height on 28 January 2014 as part of the government’s long-term economic plan to abolish or improve outdated, burdensome or over-complicated regulations which waste businesses’ time and money.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 some form of work at height every year. Falls are one of the biggest causes of death and serious injury at work.
Now the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has overhauled its guidance for such activity, setting out in clear, simple terms what to do and what not to do – and debunking common myths that can confuse and mislead employers.
Altogether, more than 3,000 regulations have been identified for scrapping or improving through the Red Tape Challenge – which asks businesses and the public themselves to identify the rules that hold them back
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.
Key changes include:
- providing simple advice about do’s and don’ts when working at height to ensure people are clear on what the law requires
- busting some of the persistent myths about health and safety law, such as the banning of ladders when they can still be used
- offering targeted advice to helping business in different sectors manage serious risks sensibly and proportionately
- helping workers to be clearer about their own responsibilities for working safely.
Judith Hackitt, Chair of the Health and Safety Executive, 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.