An All Party Parliamentary Group has launched an inquiry into working at height which seeks to look at the number of serious injuries and fatalities that occur as a result of falls from height.

During 2016/2017, 18% of workplace fatalities occurred as a result of a fall from height.

The inquiry has been supported by two trade associations, the Prefabricated Access Suppliers’ and Manufacturers’ Association (PASMA), and the Access Industry Forum. Both associations believe that better statistics relating to workplace falls, more in-depth investigations and raising awareness of the dangers would help to reduce the fatality rate. 

There are eight key questions the inquiry group seeks to answer:

  • what are the primary reasons for falls, or falling objects, which cause serious injuries or fatalities;
  • do you have any comments about the existing Work at Height Regulations SI 2005/735;
  • are there specific measures you believe are necessary to prevent falls, or falling objects, from height which are not currently required by law;
  • what more can industry do to avoid falls from height, and share good practise;
  • what role should end users/customers have in ensuring safe work at height;
  • would you support enhanced reporting of falls from height as a way of better understanding the causes and helping to reduce falls from height;
  • do you believe the current definition of competence for working at height is appropriate;
  • any innovative suggestions, particularly using digital technology, which could have a positive effect on reducing falls / falling objects from height.

Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on working at height, Alison Thewliss, said: ''That 18% of people killed at work did so as a result of a fall from height is a shocking statistic. The APPG for Working at Height has brought together concerned MPs from several parties to investigate the reasons for falls from height and ensure current regulations are sufficient for protecting workers at height in the UK.''

The inquiry is seeking online submissions from across all industries and the health and safety sector before the deadline of 6 February 2018.

After considering the evidence, the inquiry group will develop a report and recommendations on how the frequency of serious injuries and fatalities can be reduced.