When it comes to health and safety legislation, it seems change is here to stay. Whatever way you look at it, the burden upon employers and business leaders to stay on top of the issues and raise standards is increasing.
Below, we review some recent and impending important changes. If you are an EW client and require any clarification or support, please don’t hesitate to contact your Health & Safety Consultant.
CDM Regulations (introduced April 2015)
We recently reported on changes to the management of health and safety within the construction industry. The Construction, Design and Management Regulations (CDM) 2015 which came into force on 6 April and key changes include:
- Notification to HSE for a construction project which lasts 30 days with more than 20 workers or project exceeds 500 person days.
- Replacement of the CDM Coordinator (CDMC) role, with that of a Principal Designer where a project involves more than one contractor on site.
- Removal of the need to assess competency replaced with a legal obligation on the client.
- Removal of the Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) which is to be replaced with industry specific guidance.
Motor Vehicles, Variation of Speed Limits, England and Wales Regulations 2015 (introduced April 2015)
The draft regulations are being made to increase the national speed limit for heavy goods vehicles of more than 7.5 tonnes on single carriageways from 40 mph to 50 mph, and on dual carriageways from 50 mph to 60 mph, in England and Wales.
Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015 (to be introduced 1 June 2015)
Important changes, particularly on how dangerous substances are classified, are captured in the new COMAH regulations. For the first time, lower tier operators will have to provide public information about their site and its hazards. Both upper and lower tier operators will need to provide public information electronically and keep it up to date.
Pressure Equipment (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (1 June 2015)
Updates classification of pressure equipment containing hazardous substances.
The Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Chemicals (Amendments to Secondary Legislation) Regulations 2015 (31 May 2015 / 1 June 2015)
The new EU Directive amends several pieces of EU legislation on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures and introduces a new classification system for hazardous chemicals.
Smoke-free, Private Vehicles Regulations (1 October 2015)
A ban on smoking in cars carrying children will be introduced in England and Wales. The ban aims to protect young people under 18 from second-hand smoke, and could see people who breaking the law facing £50 on-the-spot fines. Note:
- e-cigarettes will not be banned under the measures.
- The ban will not apply to anyone driving alone or driving in a convertible car with the top down.
Revisions to ISO 14001 Environment Standard (Q3 2015)
Changes to the international ISO 14001 standard which outlines how to put an effective environmental management system in place are expected to be implemented in Q3 of 2015. There will be focus on leadership, environmental performance and communication. More information is available here.
Tougher Guidelines, Higher Fines (2015 / 2016)
Tougher guidelines proposed by the Sentencing Council means firms convicted of corporate manslaughter will face fines of up to £20m. The Council feels that fines should be big enough to have a real economic impact which will bring home to the offending organisation the importance of achieving a safe environment for those affected by its activities.
In 2013/14 in the UK, 133 people were killed at work and 70 members of the public fatally injured in accidents connected to work, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). However, to date, there have been only eight convictions for corporate manslaughter in England and Wales since the legislation was introduced in 2007.
Read more here.
ISO 45001 to Replace ISO 18001
The new ISO 45001 standard is likely to replace OHSAS 18001, the international standard for health and safety management, in October 2016. The standard requires health and safety to be managed in a systematic way allowing organisations to improve health and safety performance. The standard is currently at Committee Draft stage.