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IPAF to brief cross-party MPs’ inquiry into work at height

Richard Whiting

New inquiry aims to cut the number of workplace fatalities caused by falls from height

KEY spokespeople for the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) are working closely with a new all-party working group of Westminster MPs, whose aim is to cut the number of workplace fatalities in the UK that are caused by falls from height.

IPAF president Nick Selley and UK market general manager Richard Whiting (pictured) attended the inaugural meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Working at Height at the Houses of Parliament in London on 12 December 2017.

Alison Thewliss, SNP MP 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 wide-scale inquiry into how to improve safety and implement best practice. A final report will be published and presented to Parliament.

She told the group: ‘It is unacceptable that in 2016–17, 18% of people killed at work died after a fall from height. After extensive research, both myself and fellow officers of the APPG believe there are a number of facets that need to be urgently addressed 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.’

Tim Whiteman, chief executive officer and managing director of IPAF, commented: ‘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.

‘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 ensuring 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 UK members, who may wish to offer input or evidence to the inquiry and contribute to the report.

‘We hope the report that is 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, ultimately, to reduce falls from height in the workplace.’

The deadline for written evidence submissions is Friday 2 March 2018. An oral evidence session in Parliament will take place week commencing 26 March 2018, and report publication and evidence submission to government and the HSE will take place week commencing 14 May 2018.

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