UK Consultation updates
As part of the coalition government's drive to reduce regulatory burdens, agencies such as the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have launched consultations on ways of simplifying and improving health, safety and environmental regulation, enforcement and outcomes.
Planned changes to Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (CDM)
HSE is currently consulting on proposed changes to the CDM Regulations. The full details of the changes can be accessed on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/consult/condocs/cd261.htm
Significant changes include:
- the proposed replacement of the CDM co-ordinator role with a new role ascribed to the 'principal designer' which will include the element of control and influence over design. The discharge of this function will sit within the project team rather than outsourced to an external contractor;
- the proposed removal of explicit 'competence' requirement currently set out in regulation 4 of CDM. HSE argues that competence is most effectively promoted through culture change and leadership and that effective co-ordination of health and safety is carried out on all projects irrespective of size;
- the removal of the current exemption for domestic clients. It is envisaged that this change will allow many of the duties assigned to the domestic client to be undertaken by the principal designer;
- replacement of the Approved Code of Practice supporting CDM with guidance.
Views of our members will be presented to our Construction Sector Group Meeting taking place in London on 13 May 2014 for consideration and will help inform our submission to HSE. Members wanting to share comments on the CDM proposals should e-mail them to us by 9 May 2014 – also using email@example.com.
If you wish to provide us with your views on these proposals or any other official consultations please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
RIDDOR and H&S law concerning the self-employed
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published two separate consultative documents in August 2012 which contained proposals to further revise the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) and to amend health and safety law concerning the self-employed.
The RIDDOR consultation document suggests the following:
- To retain reporting requirements concerning deaths to both workers and people not at work, all major injuries, over seven-day injuries to people at work, dangerous occurrences within major hazard sectors and domestic gas events
- To remove cases of occupational disease, non-fatal accidents to people not at work, dangerous occurrences outside of high risk sectors or activities and the reporting by self-employed persons of injuries or illnesses to themselves
- For more information, please see CD243
No date has yet been set for implementation of the RIDDOR proposals.
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Summary of proposed changes to law concerning the self-employed
The consultative document on exempting some self-employed persons from health and safety law, CD242, sets out the background to the proposed reforms, including listing the regulations that apply to the self-employed and the findings of the Löfstedt review and the Davidson review which recommended that HSE should consider exempting the self-employed in low-risk sectors from health and safety legislation.
The consultative document makes clear that the exemption will not extend to those self-employed whose work activities pose a potential risk of harm to other or those who employ others. The HSE favours an option to introduce a prescribed list of high-risk sectors –including agriculture, construction, gas fitting, COMAH sites, nuclear and offshore installations. People working in these sectors will continue to be bound by health and safety law. Further options include leaving it to the self employed to establish whether their work poses a risk to others and exempting people who undertake office-type activities.
For more information, please see CD242
No date has yet been set for implementation of the proposals on exempting the low risk self-employed.
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Proposals to review HSE's Approved Codes of Practice (ACOPs)
The HSE conducted a three-month consultation on a significant number of its ACOPs between July and September 2012. It sought views on the revision, consolidation or withdrawal of 15 ACOPs, which are to be delivered by end-2013; and on proposals for minor revisions, or no changes, to a further 15 ACOPs which are to be delivered by 2014. This includes plans to abolish the ACOP on the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and replace it with guidance by the end of 2013; and merging two ACOPs on managing asbestos in buildings and working with asbestos. The proposals also included a plan to limit the length of all ACOPs to 32 pages.
The British Safety Council encouraged its member organisations to share their views on the proposals and submitted our official response to HSE. A summary of members' views was published in Safety Management - click here for details.
A summary of the 15 ACOPs up for revision, consolidation or withdrawal to be delivered by end-2013 can be found here.
A summary of the 15 ACOPs up for minor revision or no change to be delivered by end-2014 can be found here.
Further information on the proposals can be found here.
In Dec 2012/Jan 2013 HSE decided to recommend to the government that all the proposals should go ahead, except the withdrawal of ACOPs on children in agriculture and the design and installation of gas service pipes, for which a decision has yet to be made. In addition, HSE decided to recommend that the length of ACOPs should be considered on a case-by-case basis, rather than limited to 32 pages, as originally suggested.
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Proposal to scrap 14 health and safety regulations
Proposal to abolish 14 legislative measures (one Act, 12 sets of regulations and one Order) which HSE says are either redundant, have been overtaken by more up-to-date regulations or do not deliver their expected benefits. These include the Notification of Conventional Tower Cranes Regulations 2010, the Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989 and the Docks Regulations 1988. The consulation on the proposals closed on 4 July 2012, and in August 2012, HSE said it would be recommending to ministers that 13 of the 14 sets of regulations be removed. However, in the case of the Docks Regulations, HSE's board has asked for further information on how safety standards in ports will be maintained if the regulations are scrapped, before reaching a decision on whether or not to recommend their abolition.
Read about which regulations are due to be abolished
HSE board's discussion on the proposals can be found here
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Fee for Intervention (FFI)
Since October 2012, HSE recovers its inspection, investigation and enforcement costs from employers found in breach of health and safety law. FFI applies to ‘material’ breaches of health and safety law - namely when an HSE inspector judges there has been a contravention of health and safety law that requires them to notify the employer in writing, by notification of a contravention, an improvement or prohibition notice or a prosecution. The fee is based on the amount of time the inspector spends identifying the material breach, helping the business to put it right, and investigating and taking enforcement action. FFI is charged at £124 per hour but does not apply to health and safety enforcement by local authorities.
Click here for HSE's guidance on FFI.
The British Safety Council will be reporting on progress in coming months. Should you wish to share any views on FFI or your experience of the new enforcement regime, email us at email@example.com
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EU Emissions Trading Scheme
Now closed consultative seeking views on simplifying the UK’s framework for complying with the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). This requires certain UK businesses to ‘cap and trade’ their greenhouse gas emissions as part of global efforts to combat climate change. Under the proposals, 13 sets of UK regulations would be amalgamated; small emitters and hospitals would be able to opt out into a lighter touch alternative scheme from 2013; and civil, rather than criminal, sanctions would be introduced for those who breach their duties.
Read more about the proposed changes (consultation closed on 31 July 2012).
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Focus on Enforcement
The government is inviting businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to suggest ways in which enforcement by regulators such as HSE and local authorities can be improved and reformed. The best suggestions will be used to guide proposed improvements.
Get involved - give your opinion on enforcement.
Red Tape Challenge
Government review inviting the public, business and the voluntary and community sector to give their views on what regulations affecting business and the voluntary sector should be retained, improved or abolished.
Although the ‘spotlight’ period for commenting on health, safety and environmental legislation under the Red Tape Challenge has now closed, new comments are still considered by HSE as part of the government’s long-term commitment to regulatory reform.
Provide your comments on regulation through the ‘Red Tape Challenge’.
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