The Scaffolding Association welcomes the announcement that the government has abandoned plans to scrap thousands of EU-era laws which were due to expire at the end of the year

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Press Release

Published: May 15, 2023

The plan would have seen laws that were copied over to the UK after Brexit, disappear unless specifically kept or replaced.

Included, in what was dubbed a post-Brexit bonfire, were the Working at Height Regulations (WAHR) which the Scaffolding Association had been making representations to ministers about over several months to ensure they were retained.

Since their introduction, there is no doubt that they have helped to improve safety and reduce fatalities within the workplace.

In the last full year of statistics prior to the introduction of WAHR (2003/04), there were 67 workplace fatalities as a result of falls from height. This number has fallen to 29 in 2021/22. 

Despite this improvement, statistics which are published annually by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) consistently demonstrate that working at height remains the single largest contributing factor to workplace fatalities and that almost a quarter of all workplace fatalities occur because of falls from height.

Robert Candy, Chief Executive, Scaffolding Association said; “I am delighted that today’s announcement appears to confirm that common sense has prevailed and that these vitally important regulations will be retained.

Our relentless engagement with ministers and officials over recent months has helped them to understand the consequences of scrapping these regulations. I am grateful that they acted in the interests of construction worker safety”.