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MPs call for action over rise in deaths from work at height

The All-party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Working at Height has urged the government to take forward the recommendations in its report after the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) latest statistics showed an increase in the number of fatal injuries caused by a fall from height.

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The HSE’s provisional figures for fatal injuries in Great Britain for 2018-19 show that 40 people sustained a fatal injury as a result of a fall from height. This represents an increase from 2017-18 when 35 workers died. Falls from height remain the single biggest cause of workplace fatalities in Great Britain.

In February this year, the APPG published its first report, Staying Alive: preventing serious injury and fatalities while working at height, which made four recommendations, including the introduction of enhanced reporting and extending an equivalent system to Scotland’s fatal accident inquiry process to the rest of the UK.

APPG chair and MP for Glasgow Central, Alison Thewliss said: “It is imperative that the government takes forward the recommendations made in our report which have been devised with input from industry and key stakeholders.”

IOSH Magazine’s June issue included a report analysis.

Peter Bennett, managing director of PASMA and a founding member of the Access Industry Forum, which sponsors the APPG, said: “We know that the data collected does not accurately represent the true scale of ‘near misses’ in the workplace which is why we are calling for enhanced reporting methods, and an independent body would confidentially collect data to inform industry and government.”


Nic Warburton is acting editor, IOSH Magazine

 Nick Warburton is acting editor of IOSH Magazine. He is a former editor of SHP and has also worked on Local Authority Waste and Recycling and Environmental Health Practitioner


  • It's all well-and-good t

    Permalink Submitted by Steven Nagle on 5 July 2019 - 12:22 pm

    It's all well-and-good the powers that be periodically whining from their oak desks about things like this, but you can't legislate for worker ignorance except to prosecute, and those who are usually in the firing line for failing to manage this kind of hazard are organisations that are usually run lean on tenders because of competitive tendering or cash work, and either can't afford to implement safety provisions or just ignore safety, referring to the cash they would have spent on that as 'profit'.

  • So an extra five people

    Permalink Submitted by Jeremy Rowland on 12 July 2019 - 01:04 pm

    So an extra five people died in falls from height in the 2018-19 period not really staggering losses when you consider there are around 80 million people in this country but I suppose that somebody has to get paid lots of money to jump up and down about it; I would be far more concerned about loss of life to knife crime and suicide rates which knocks these figures into reality.


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