Working at Heights Regulations Delayed Further

1 October 2003

UK- Expectations were high at the PLASA show that a detailed presentation concerning this vital set of Regulations would be delivered by representatives of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). However, policy makers from the HSE announced that the promised third draft of the Regulations, with its accompanying Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) and guidance material, would be delayed further - with the consultation period now scheduled for December 2003 through to April 2004.

Those who attended the seminar on the last day of the show were hoping to get an opportunity to discuss the application of the new Regulations and how their impact would affect the entertainment industry, but all that was on offer was a run-through of the existing proposed Regulations published in the last draft, which may or may not have some bearing on the final set of Regulations.

The delayed consultation period is squeezing the time allowed by the European Commission for the implementation of the Working at Heights Directive, which demands the UK implements the new Regulations by July 2004. The timeline suggests that if there is a substantial response to the consultation and the new Regulations are placed on the statute books by July, there is no guarantee that the suggestions, comments and concerns of this industry will have had enough time to be considered fully.

However, Ron Bonner, PLASA's Health & Safety consultant, is keen to ensure that PLASA members have the chance to review the latest draft of the Regulations, ACOP and guidance material collectively. If the consultation material is available on the specified date, he intends to invite all interested PLASA members to gather at a hotel (probably in the Birmingham area with location and venue to be confirmed at a later date) for a meeting at which the third draft of the Regulations, ACOP and guidance material will be presented. There will be a chance for those assembled to discuss and formulate a response where necessary. The plan is to hold the meeting approximately four to six weeks after the release of the consultation material giving everyone time to read what is being proposed.

Responses gathered at the meeting will then be passed to Government as a collective PLASA response on behalf of the PLASA membership. Members will, of course, be free to respond individually should they so wish, in line with the HSE's consultation procedures. Even if the responses formulated at the meeting are limited or even non-existent, attending the meeting will have the added bonus of going through the Legislation step by step and allowing members to fully understand the requirements of the legislation and how they will be expected to comply. If you are interested in attending and would like to be informed of the meeting details, when confirmed, please telephone the PLASA office on +44 (0)1323 410335 or e-mail:



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