Key spokespeople for the International Powered Access Federation are working closely with a new all-party working group of Westminster members of parliament, whose aim is to reduce the alarming number of workplace fatalities in the U.K. that are caused by falls from height. IPAF president Nick Selley and U.K. market general manager Richard Whiting attended the inaugural meeting December 12 of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Working at Height at the U.K. House of Parliament in London.
Alison Thewliss, the SNP MO for Glasgow Central and convener of the APPG, invited politicians and stakeholders to work together to better investigate serious injuries and fatalities while working at height and to launch a widescale inquiry into how to improve safety and implement best practices. A final report will be published and presented to Parliament.
“It is unacceptable that in 2017-17, 18 percent of people killed at work died after a fall from height,” said Thewliss. “After extensive research, myself and the fellow officers of the APPG believe that there are a number of facets that need to be urgently addressed in order to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by such falls. These include the collection of statistics relating to workplace falls, more in-depth investigations into the reasons for falls and better education regarding awareness about the dangers of working at height. Our first act is the inquiry set out today.
“Based on your evidence, we hope to submit workable recommendations to the HSE and the government to help bring about a reduction in the number of falls, and ensure everyone who works at height can return home safely from work.”
“Reducing falls from height in the workplace and promoting powered access equipment as the safest way to carry out temporary work at height is the very definition of IPAF’s mission statement,” said IPAF CEO and managing director. “Clearly this is something we at IPAF are very passionate about, and we will be heavily involved in providing evidence and suggestions to the inquiry and ensure that IPAF and its members are key influencers to the group. IPAF representatives will continue to work closely with the MPs in this cross-party group and we will be reporting back and consulting with all our U.K. members, who may wish to offer input or evidence to the inquiry and contribute to the report.”
Whiteman said he hopes the report produced will be a truly comprehensive document that all those who are asked to carry out or supervise temporary work at height can use as an important point of reference to ensure the highest possible safety standards and reduce falls from height in the workplace.