Category Archives: New and changing legislation

Legislation concerning use of chemicals

The Health and Safety Executive is committed to simplifying the legislation concerning use of chemicals, and will consult on an amalgamation of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, the Control, of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 and the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002.

Health and safety deregulation for low-risk self-employed

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (General Duties of Self- Employed Persons) (Prescribed Undertakings) Regulations 2015 come into force on 1 October 2015. They specify the circumstances in which selfemployed persons must comply with their duty under section 3(2) the 1974 Act to conduct their undertakings in such a way as to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, they and anyone who may be affected by their work activities are not exposed to risks to their health and safety.

The new rules seek to exempt self-employed persons such as someone using a computer or carrying out telemarketing activities where there is negligible risk to health or safety. There are no exemptions for some specified activities, including those working with gas, or on construction sites. A general provision states that the exemptions will not apply where work may expose another person to risk.

CDM transitional arrangements end

When the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) came into force in April, a transitional arrangement applied for a CDM co-ordinator already in post. If the project is still active, the client must appoint a principal designer to replace the CDM co-ordinator by 6 October 2015.

Construction safety

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) came into force, as planned, on 6 April 2015. Clients who start projects after that date must appoint a principal designer.

The role of CDM Co-ordinator is abolished, except for pre-existing projects where there is a six-month transitional period.

Driving licences

From 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart driving licence is abolished. Penalty points will only be recorded electronically, by DVLA.

Employers seeking to check whether employees have committed a motoring offence can obtain real-time information via a free on-line DVLA Shared Driving Licence service, subject to consent from the employee. Individual drivers can readily access their own records at view-driving-licence so a more practical way for employers to carry out the due diligence process is to request employees who drive for work purposes to supply a current print-out of their personal record, ideally not less than once a year.

Construction safety

Parliamentary approval is expected soon for the new Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015), due to come into force on 6 April 2015.

The new regulations include a duty to prepare written construction phase plans for all construction projects and this includes domestic client work. There must also be a principal designer and principal contractor appointed when there is more than one contractor involved with a project. A transitional period will run for six months until 6 October 2015.

If a project has commenced before the regulations come into force, but the construction phase has not yet started and no CDM co-ordinator is in place, the client will have to appoint a principal designer as soon as practicable. CDM co-ordinators who are already in post must be replaced by a principal designer by the end of the transitional period, unless the work is finished by then.

Explosives and acetylene

The Explosives Regulations 2014 came into effect on 1 October 2014. They consolidate and replace a large number of provisions dating back as far as 1875.

Most of the changes relate to licensing and storage arrangements and requirements. Separate regulations known as the Acetylene Safety (England and Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2014 also came into force and similarly serve to tidy up earlier assorted regulatory requirements. They do not affect acetylene gas stored at a pressure lower than 0.62 bar.

HSE second thoughts on revised CDM

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have completed the consultation exercise on their proposed amendments to the regulatory framework for construction, a process we reported in the last edition of Safety News.

One of the proposals was to supply sector-specific guidance instead of an Approved Code of Practice to support the forthcoming Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. After reviewing responses received, HSE has retracted this plan and will retain an ACOP. Of the 1,213 responses they received, less than 400 agreed with the withdrawal idea.

Petroleum regulations replaced

The new Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 came into effect on 1 October 2014. They replace existing petrol storage legislation which is withdrawn. This does not affect earlier legislation covering the dispensing of petrol into a vehicle, which also requires a licence.

Consultation on revised CDM

The Health and Safety Executive is in the process of consulting on proposals to revise the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007, with a timetable of having new regulations in force in April 2015.

One major change is to do away with the role of CDM Co-ordinator as this function appears not to have worked as expected and has involved bureaucracy and costs without contributing to the process. Instead there will be an enhanced role for the project designer. There are no radical changes to the regulations’ technical requirements, but the Approved Code of Practice would be replaced by a guidance document.