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Last updateWed, 24 Apr 2019 12pm

MP's inquiry hears oral evidence on falls from height

The recently formed APPG on Working at Height held an oral evidence session as part of its inquiry into the number of serious injuries and fatalities which occur as a result of a fall from height. The APPG, which is chaired by Glasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss and supported by PASMA, were delighted to welcome over a dozen leading figures in working at height, including two survivors of a fall from height.

MPs David Hanson and Alison Thewliss, took part in a wide ranging discussion about the key issues for preventing falls from height. Ranging from education, culture, planning and the greater use of technology.  

The session was opened by survivors Paul Blanchard and Jason Anker MBE, both of whom spoke about their experience. The remainder of the session was broken into three sections; cause and aftermath of falls, improvements in working at height to date, and education, culture and innovation.

The APPG will now consider both the written and oral evidence to develop a report and recommendations on how the frequency of serious injuries and fatalities can be reduced.

In 2016/2017, 18% of those who died at work were killed as a result of a fall from height. PASMA, and the Access Industry Forum, believes that there are a number of issues that should be addressed urgently to reduce these figures. These include better collection of statistics relating to workplace falls, more in-depth investigations and raising awareness of the dangers of working at height.

Alison Thewliss MP, Chair of the APPG on Working at Height said: “Deaths and serious injuries caused by falls from height cause irrevocable damage to victims and to the people around them. As part of the APPG on Working at Height’s inquiry into the reasons for falls from height, we heard harrowing stories from survivors about some of the consequences of a fall, as well as what diverse stakeholders are doing to prevent these occurrences.”

Peter Bennett, Managing Director of PASMA said: “While a lot of work has been done by government and industry to reduce the number of falls from height, too many incidents still occur. Falls from height can happen in any sector, from agriculture and construction to an electrician working in a home, making this the leading cause of fatalities and life-changing injuries so we are delighted that, at long last, the issue is now receiving the attention it deserves.”

“We welcome the opportunity to support the work of the APPG for Working at Height. It was an honour to attend the oral evidence session, yesterday, and to feed into the APPG’s inquiry.”