The Health and Safety Executive is introducing regulations to cover work on scaffolding or platforms below 2 m in height.
Under current safety regulations, contractors are obliged to carry out safety risk assessments and provide adequate supervision and training only for work carried out above 2 m from the ground.

However, the UK regulations must be updated by 2004 to comply with a European directive on temporary work at height. The directive says that even if workers are on scaffolding or a platform less than 2 m from the ground, this work should be covered by safety regulations.

An HSE spokesperson said a consultation paper would be compiled by the HSE and published next year.

He said the first draft of the rules was at an early stage and would undergo change. He said the main amendment would be the inclusion of work under 2 m.

Just because work is carried out below 2 m, it doesn’t mean it is not dangerous

HSE spokesperson

The spokesperson said: “Just because work is carried out below 2 m it doesn’t mean it is not dangerous. A fall from 1 m could still cause a fatality.”

He added that most regulations in the Construction Health and Safety Welfare Regulations (1996) would remain in the amended version.

  • The Major Contractors Group has announced that eight out of the 79 fatalities reported in the construction industry for the year ending in March this year occurred where there was a major contractor working on the site. The MCG said that of the eight fatal accidents, one was a direct employee and seven were subcontracted staff.