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Two-metre lobby misses the point

LETTERS

Sir, I am surprised the Construction Confederation is pushing to have the 'two-metre' height rule reintroduced into the new regulations on working at height (CN, October 21).

Having campaigned extensively over the last few years to raise awareness of the issues of working at height, particularly in the construction industry, I really do feel this would be a step in totally the wrong direction.

As with many regulations, these reflect what should be good practice and common sense as far as equipment is concerned.

It is common knowledge that the majority of major injuries are caused by falls from below two metres, so the introduction of this rule makes perfect sense.

In fact, as a result of existing legislation such as Construction (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations, those responsible for safety already recognise the risks associated with work above two metres.What they often forget to look at is work below that height, so this rule is surely drawing attention to the very significant and serious problem of falls below two metres.

But if firms carry out a proper risk assessment, then surely the 'two-metre' argument is moot, as the assessment will identify risks irrespective of the height.

I quite agree there are some unscrupulous employers who will exploit this rule, but surely the question here is not how they will exploit it, but how we can remove these types of employers from our industry?

Perhaps, rather than worrying about the 'two-metre' element, we should work together to promote good practice and rid the industry of those who give it a bad name.

Graham Willmott, marketing director, Safesite