UK: Health and Safety Calendar Autumn 2010

Last Updated: 15 November 2010
Article by Jan Burgess, Thomas Herd and Claire Kent

Welcome to the Autumn 2010 Health & Safety Calendar.

The Health and Safety Calendar highlights key implementation dates for existing and proposed Health & Safety legislation. It also contains information on consultations and initiatives by the Health & Safety Executive and the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Businesses, directors and Health & Safety managers ought to find the Calendar a useful tool with which to track legislation, control risk and improve safety management performance.

To view the article in full, please see below:



Full Article

Introduction

This calendar covers some of the key dates for proposed and existing health & safety legislation in the EU and UK (colour-coded accordingly). For a brief explanation of the different types of EU legislation, please refer to the last page.

The content is ordered as follows:

  • New UK and EU legislation in force
  • UK and EU legislation coming into force
  • Key dates for REACH
  • Bills in the 2010-2011 session
  • Current & completed consultations
  • Current HSE initiatives

This calendar is provided by way of general guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. While we aim for it to be as up-todate as possible, some recent developments may miss our publication deadline and some dates may change at short notice. The calendar is not intended to cover every policy or legislative initiative, only major health and safety issues.

New Legislation in force

1 May 2010

Amendment to Annex 1 of the Export and Import of Dangerous Chemicals Regulations (Regulation EC 689/2008)

The Export and Import of Dangerous Chemicals Regulations implement the Rotterdam Convention which places restrictions on the international chemicals trade. The Regulation is commonly known as the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Regulation and places notification requirements on exporters.

Commission Regulation (EU) No. 196/2010 is the second amendment to Annex 1 of the PIC Regulation and has been effective since 1 May 2010. Part 1 of Annex I provides a list of chemicals that are subject to export notification procedure under the Regulations. Twenty seven entries have been amended/created.

Further amendments to Annex 1 have been proposed. If implemented, they would:

  • Add further substances to part 1, making them subject to notifcation requirements
  • Add further substances to Part 2, which means they will require explicit consent prior to being exported outside the EU
  • Add nine substances to part 1 or 2 of Annex V, which means that they will be subject to an EU export ban.

For more information on the second amendment, list of regulated substances and further proposals please go to: www.hse.gov.uk/pic/new.htm

Legislation coming into force

December 2010

Genetically modified organisms (Contained Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2010

These Regulations introduce minor amendments to the existing Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2000.

The amendments are necessary because the European Commission notifi ed the UK that its existing Regulations were not compliant with the Directive that they were intended to implement.

The proposed amendments will be of particular interest to duty holders who work with genetically modified organisms.

An HSE consultation on the proposed amendments took place between 31 March 2010 and 31 May 2010. For information on the outcome and the substance of the amendments, see the part 5 of the calendar.

For further information on Genetically Modified Organisms, please go to: www.hse.gov.uk/biosafety/gmo/index.htm

December 2010

Regulation on the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures (Regulation (EC) no. 1272/2008) (CLP)

This Regulation is known as the "CLP" Regulation. It came into force on 20 January 2009 and has direct effect in all EU Member States. That means that it requires no 'enabling' UK legislation.

CLP gives effect in the EU to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), which categorises substances according to their impact on health and the environment. It will soon replace the existing European classification and labelling rules. Manufacturers and exporters should be aware of the imminent deadlines.

CLP introduces an important new notification duty which becomes mandatory on 1 December 2010. It requires that importers and manufacturers of hazardous chemicals notify the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) if the chemicals are being placed on the market. Notification must be made within one month of the chemicals being placed on the market. That means that the first notification deadline will be 3 January 2011.

The following businesses need to know about notification:

  • Manufacturers of substances (including isolated intermediates) subject to registration in accordance with the REACH Regulation.
  • Importers of substances (e.g. dye products) subject to registration in accordance with the REACH Regulation
  • Manufacturers or importers of substances which are classified as hazardous, irrespective of the quantity involved.
  • Importers of mixtures containing hazardous substances, irrespective of the quantity involved.
  • Importers of articles containing substances which are subject to registration under REACH Article 7.

For more information on REACH, see Section 3 of the calendar. For more information on notification, please go to: www.hse.gov.uk/ghs/liveissues.htm

For further information on the CLP Regulation please go to: www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/europe/euronews/dossiers/ghs.htm

1 December 2010

1st and 2nd Adaptations To Regulation of the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (Regulation (EC) No.1272/2008) (CLP)

The Dangerous Substances Directive (67/548/EEC) classified around 7000 hazardous substances. When the CLP Regulation (above) came into force on 20 January 2009, it repealed those classifications but immediately re-enacted them. They now appear in Table 3.2 in Part 3 of Annex VI to the CLP Regulation.

The 1st Adaptation to Technical Progress (ATP) adds several hundred new entries and amends several hundred existing entries in the list of substances and classifications.

The 1st ATP is contained in Commission Regulation No 790/2009 which came into force on 25 September 2009. The implementation date is 1 December 2010, which is the same date for implementation of the CLP Regulation.

The 2nd ATP adopts the changes made in the 3rd edition of the UN 'Purple Book' (which sets out the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)). It is anticipated to come into force in early 2011 but that an 18 month period will be allowed before it becomes binding on exporters and suppliers.

For further information, please go to: www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/europe/euronews/dossiers/dsd3031.htm

2010

Proposed Directive amending the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (2004/37/EC)

The European Commission has proposed an amendment to the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (2004/37/EC). This Directive consolidated the Carcinogens Directive (90/394/ EEC) and subsequent amendments.

The first stage of consultation occurred in 2004 and the second stage in spring 2007. It is expected that the EU will soon publish a draft, taking account of comments received during the consultation process.

The main proposals in the second stage of Social Partner consultation are:

  • That the scope of the Directive be extended to cover substances classified as Category One and Category Two Toxic to Reproduction.
  • That exposure limits for the three substances listed in Annex III of the Directive be reviewed.
  • That additional exposure limits for carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic to reproduction substances be placed in Annex III.

Once the Commission publishes a draft text of a Directive, HSE will prepare a Regulatory Impact Assessment.

For further information on the proposed Directive please go to: www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/europe/euronews/dossiers/carcinogens.htm

2010

Pressure Equipment Directive (97/23/EC)

The Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) came into force in May 2002 and is due to be reviewed this year. It covers pressurised equipment with maximum allowable pressure PS greater than 0.5 bar, such as vessels, piping and safety accessories.

The proposed amendments concern cylinders for breathing apparatus and market surveillance issues. The minutes of meetings held in October 2009 to discuss these issues and a Pressure Equipment Stakeholder Report dated August 2010 can be viewed by going to: www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/business-sectors/docs/ped-stakeholder-report-august-2010.pdf

The next meeting of the Pressure Equipment Directive Working Group is due to take place on 24 November 2010.

For further information on PED please go to: www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/sectors/sustainability/regulations/ecdirect/page12629.html

6 April 2011

Amendment of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act (Application Outside Great Britain) Order 2001

A 2009 Variation Order was introduced to ensure that certain high risk offshore work activities (e.g. the construction of wind farms outside UK territorial waters) were subject to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

The 2009 Variation Order ceases to have effect on 5 April 2011. As such work activities are ongoing, the 2011 Variation Order simply continues the existing regime.

6 April 2011

Legislative Reform (Contained Use of Animal Pathogens) Order 2010

This reform order will amend Section 1(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 by removing the restriction on HSE which limits its mandate and powers to protecting human health alone.

By way of example, HSE has the power to make regulations to cover the use of biological agents and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and has implemented the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (2002) Regulations which covers biological agents and the Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2000.

By contrast, the Specified Animal Pathogens Order that covers the handling of certain animal pathogens in contained use is made by Defra under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

This order will extend the general purposes in the 1974 Act to protect against risks to animal health arising from work with animal pathogens. It will also give HSE powers to make regulations in relation to animal pathogens.

6 April 2011

The Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2011

These Regulations revoke and replace the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2010.

They will update fee levels which allow for the charging of conventional health and safety inspections and investigations (in certain circumstances) on Nuclear, COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazards) and offshore oil and gas sites.

A joint consultation on amendments to the Pipeline Safety Regulations 1996 and the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations was conducted by HSE and ended on 1 March 2010. For further information, please see section 5 of the Calendar.

6 April 2011

The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Control of Noise at Work) Regulations 2007

Regulations 7(4) and (5).

Regulations 7(4) and (5) of The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Control of Noise at Work) Regulations 2007 will come into force on 6 April 2011.

The 2007 Regulations implement Council Directive 2003/10/ EC by extending measures to protect workers from risks related to noise at work to workers in the maritime sector.

Regulation 7(4) provides that an employer must ensure that workers are not exposed to noise exceeding the exposure limit values specified in the Regulations (85 or 137 decibels).

Regulation 7(5) provides that if above-limit exposures are detected following the implementation of preventative measures, the employer must take action to reduce exposure, identify the reasons why the limit has been exceeded and amend the measures taken in accordance with the Regulations to ensure that the limit is not exceeded again.

To view the 2007 Regulations in full please go to: www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2007/pdf/uksi_20073075_en.pdf

6 April 2011

Proposed Amendments to The Pipeline Safety Regulations 1996

The Pipelines Safety Regulations 1996 provide for the management of pipeline safety and apply to all pipelines in Great Britain, UK territorial waters and the UK Continental Shelf.

The Regulations were subject to a formal HSE consultation which ended on 1 March 2010.

For more information on the outcome of the consultation, please see section 5 of the calendar.

The proposed changes to the Regulations are due to come into force on 6 April 2011.

6 April 2011

The Docks (Amendment) Regulations 2010

These regulations will remove the requirement in Regulation 8(2)(f) of the Docks Regulations 1988 for a certificate conf rming the safety of a vessel used to transport a person at work in dock operations to or from any working place in dock premises. It does not include vessels such as tugs and pilot boats.

The HSE regards the requirement for such a certificate to be obsolete as more relevant legislation and guidance is now available.

A public consultation on these proposals ended on 22 January 2010.

2011

New European Directive covering all musculoskeletal disorders

In 1990 the European Commission introduced two Directives intended to address the problem of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). One Directive related to Manual Handling and the other the use of Display Screen Equipment. However, the Directives did not cover all risk factors for work-related MSDs.

In 2009, the Commission proposed a new Directive addressing all significant risk factors for work-related MSDs and repealing the two previous Directives. The aim was to make the legislation easier to apply, more effective and easier for employers to implement by providing a streamlined framework for risk assessment and prevention.

During 2009, a working group of the EU Advisory Committee on Safety and Health at Work (ACHSW) considered the proposal, produced a new draft and agreed a draft opinion, which was accepted by the ACHSW at its December plenary. The European Commission was expected to publish a proposal in Spring 2010. However, it decided that more research was required on the consequences of the proposal.

Publication has therefore been deferred, and is expected in 2011.

For further information on the Directive please go to: www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/europe/euronews/dossiers/msd.htm

2011

Potential changes to the Seveso II Directive (96/82/EC) (Seveso II)

The aim of Seveso II was to prevent major accidents at industrial sites storing or using dangerous substances and to limit the consequences if such an accident did occur. Seveso II was extended in 2003 to cover risks arising from storage of explosives and ammonium nitrate, and risks arising from mining operations.

Currently the application of Seveso II is partly determined by reference to the Dangerous Substances Directive and the Dangerous Preparations Directive (DSD/DPD). A new EU Regulation on the classifi cation, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, CLP (see above), came into force on 20 January 2009. It will be phased in over a transitional period, ultimately replacing DSD/DPD in 2015. This will break the legislative link between Seveso and the current classification system. A new method of determining the scope of the Directive will need to be found, which will require an amendment to Seveso II.

Two separate reviews being carried out by the European Commission (on the effectiveness of Seveso II and administrative costs incurred by businesses) may lead to additional changes to the Directive. The Commission is expected to publish a proposal this year. No proposal had been published at the time this Calendar went to print.

We shall keep you up to date with any progress on this issue. For further information on Seveso II please go to: www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/europe/euronews/dossiers/seveso.htm

5 April 2012

Identification and Traceability of Explosives Regulations 2010

The Identification and Traceability of Explosives Regulations 2010 (ITOER) give effect to EC Directive 2008/43/EC on the Identification and Traceability of Explosives for Civil Uses and come into force on 5 April 2012.

Amongst other things, ITOER requires that explosives for civil uses are uniquely identified by means of a human-readable alphanumeric code and bar code. Records of manufacture, import and export must also be kept.

ITOER will supersede two existing regulations, the Classification and Labelling of Explosives Regulations 1983 (CLER) and the Control of Explosives Regulations 1991 COER), when it comes into force in April 2012.

For further information, please go to: www.hse.gov.uk/explosives/information/itoer.htm

30 April 2012

Physical Agents (Electromagnetic Fields) Directive (2004/40 EC)

This Directive introduces provisions on risk assessment, control of exposure and health surveillance in relation to electromagnetic fi elds. It was published on 30 April 2004 but Member States were given until 30 April 2008 to implement it. That date was subsequently pushed back to 30 April 2012 and looks set to change again.

The Directive is based on the values incorporated in the occupational exposure guidelines issued by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The European Commission intends to publish a new version of the Directive later this year. It has invited comments on how the new Directive should be framed and it intends to develop the proposal during December 2010. It is anticipated that the UK may have until 2014 to implement it.

14 May 2013

Mini revision of the Biocidal Products Directive 98/8/EC

The European Commission is proposing to revise the Biocidal Products Directive (98/8/EC) (BPD). This Directive aims to harmonise the European market for biocidal products/active substances and to provide a high level of protection for humans, animals and the environment.

The Commission is proposing to simplify the Directive's procedures and data requirements, establish a centralised system for product authorisation and bring treated materials under the scope of the Directive.

The main revision will be preceded by a 'mini revision' which will push back the review program from 14 May 2010 to 14 May 2013. This will allow time to complete the review of existing active substances.

For information on the "mini revision" please go to: www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/europe/euronews/dossiers/biocide-mini.htm

For further information on the main revisions to the BPD please go to: www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/europe/euronews/dossiers/biocide-mini.htm

REACH

REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals) is a relatively new regime for the control and regulation of chemicals in the EU. It is co-ordinated by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) but largely enforced in the UK by HSE, in conjunction with other government agencies.

While the Regulations came into force on 1 June 2007, many of its provisions are being 'phased-in' over a period of years. Businesses in a wide range of sectors are affected; it is estimated that there are approximately 30,000 controlled substances being used in the EU. The Regulations require that companies must register substances where they are being manufactured or imported (from outside the EU) in quantities exceeding one tonne per year.

Registration can be completed electronically using the REACH-IT tool. It involves submitting a 'dossier' containing information on the substance, its health and/or environmental risks and the precautions that have been taken to minimise those risks.

Companies affected should be planning now for registration requirements that will soon be mandatory. Failure to comply is an offence, which in the UK can be punishable by unlimited fines. Directors can also be held personally liable for breaches.

To benefit from the phased-in deadlines, manufacturers or suppliers had to pre-register their substances by 1 December 2008. 'Late preregistration' is still available to companies who have started manufacturing or importing substances for the first time since 1 December 2008.

REACH - Key dates

1 December 2010

'Phase 1'

The general registration timeline is detailed below. On 1 December, 'Phase 1' of the registration requirements come into force; companies manufacturing or importing the following must have registered:

  • Substances in quantities exceeding 1000 tonnes per annum.
  • Substances in quantities exceeding 100 tonnes per annum and classifi ed as very toxic to aquatic organisms under CHIP [Chemical (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002)].
  • Substances in quantities greater than 1 tonne per annum and classifi ed under CHIP as Category 1 or 2 carcinogens, mutagens or reproductive toxicants.

1 December 2010

Regulation 1272/2008 on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (CLP)

1 December 2010 is a key deadline under Regulation 1272/2008 on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (CLP). CLP introduced new packaging and labelling requirements. Substances covered by CLP must be re-classified and re-labelled from 1 December 2010. Mixtures (e.g. paints or inks) must be re-classified and re-labelled by 1 June 2015.

From 1 December 2010, manufacturers and importers must make a Classification and Labelling notification to ECHA. For substances placed on the market on or after 1 December 2010, the deadline for the notification is 1 month following the date the substance was placed on the market.

If a substance has been on the market for a period prior to December 2010 but is taken off prior to that date, the registration deadline will be the date falling one month after the date the substance is placed back on the market after 1 December 2010.

Tonnage thresholds do not apply to CLP. Accordingly, businesses normally outside the scope of REACH (on account of dealing in small quantities) will be affected.

Registration timeline

Date

Action

1 June 2007

REACH came into force

1 June 2008

Pre-registration for existing ('phase-in') substances began
Registration for new ('non phase-in') substances started

30 November 2008

Pre-registration for 'phase-in' substances ended

1 December 2008

Registration for existing substances (that had not been pre-registered) started

1 January 2009

List of pre-registered substances published

1 June 2009

First recommendation of priority substances to be considered for authorisation published by ECHA

1 December 2010

PHASE 1

By this date the following pre-registered 'phase-in' substances must be registered when manufactured or supplied at:

≥ 1000 tonnes per annum (tpa) or;
≥ 100 tpa and classified under CHIP as very toxic to aquatic organisms or;
≥ 1 tpa and classified under CHIP as Cat 1 or 2 carcinogens, mutagens or reproductive toxicants

1 June 2013

PHASE 2
Deadline for registration of substances supplied at

≥ 100 tpa

1 June 2018

PHASE 3

Deadline for registration of substances supplied at

≥ 1 tpa

Bills before parliament

2010 – 2011

Building Regulations (Review) Bill

This Bill received a first reading in the Commons on 26 May 2010. It makes provision for a review of the Building Regulations 2000.

If it is passed, it will require the mandatory installation of automatic fire suppression systems in new residential premises. The Bill received a second reading in the Lords on 22 October 2010.

2010 – 2011

Fire Safety (Protection of Tenants) Bill

This Bill was presented to Parliament through the ballot procedure on 30 June 2010.

The Bill requires that fire alarms fitted in rental properties should be hard-wired, rather than powered by batteries. It is intended to address the issue of batteries running out or being taken out and not replaced, which is often linked to tragic fire events. A second reading in the commons is scheduled for 19 November 2010.

2010 – 2011

Wind Turbines (Minimum Distances from Residential Premises) Bill

This Private Members Bill received a fi rst reading in the House of Lords on 26 July 2010. If passed, it will make provision for a minimum distance between wind turbines and residential premises according to the size of the wind turbine.

2010 – 2011

Snow Clearance Bill

Providing immunity from prosecution or civil action for persons who have removed or attempted to remove snow from public places, this Bill will offer some protection to 'good samaritans' if passed.

Recent consultations

There are no consultations being undertaken by HSE at present. The following is a selection of recent consultations that have concluded and the expected timetable for implementation of proposals, where applicable.

Completed

Consultation on Proposed Amendments to the Pipeline Safety Regulations (PSR) 1996 and the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations

This consultation closed on 1 March 2010. The PSR Regulations concern the design, operation and safety of all pipelines in Great Britain, UK territorial waters and the Continental Shelf. Safety and maintenance have been highlighted as important issues following the Buncefield incident.

The proposals considered by HSE included:

  • Re-classification of gasoline and carbon dioxide as a 'dangerous fluids' (and so imposing greater duties on operators).
  • New duties on operators to notify local authorities, which have prepared emergency plans, if major accidents occur.
  • Introduction of a three-year expiry date on notifications by operators to HSE/local authorities. New notifications would be required where construction has not begun within three years of a first notification.

Following industry responses, the proposals for a three-year expiry for notifications and new duties on operators have been dropped. Other proposals have been taken forward for implementation in April 2011.

Completed

Proposals for Amendment of the Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2000

Between March and May 2010, HSE consulted on proposals to amend the Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2000 (S.I. 2000 No. 2831). The consultation was prompted by the European Commission's view that the relevant EU Regulations had not been fully implemented by the UK. The proposals considered by HSE included:

  • A specific requirement for Risk Assessments to take account of the disposal of waste and effluents.
  • A specific requirement to place biohazard signs on doors to facilities containing Genetically Modified Microorganisms in containment category levels 2, 3 and 4 (i.e. higher risk).

HSE's report of August 2010 recommended that the proposed amendments be implemented.

Completed

Consultation on the Implementation of EU Pesticides Legislation

This consultation carried out by Defra and other government bodies, including the Chemical Regulation Directorate of HSE, closed on 4 May 2010. It considered the implementation of the following two new pieces of EU Legislation:

  • Sustainable Use Directive (SUD) (Directive 2009/128/EC)
    SUD came into force on 25 November 2009 and must be implemented in the UK by 24 November 2011. It is intended to promote best practice in the storage, use and disposal of pesticides. Key features include limitations on aerial spraying, compulsory testing of equipment and certifi cation of operators.
  • The Regulation concerning the placing of Plant Protection Products on the market (PPP) Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009)
    PPP came into force on 14 December 2009 and applies from 14 June 2011. There are two key provisions. The first provision requires that producers, suppliers, importers and exporters of plant protection products keep records of purchases/sales etc for a period of five years. The records will be accessible by the Competent Authority on request. Third parties may also be able to access the information through the Competent Authority. The second provision may require – at the discretion of member states – the notification of neighbours in some circumstances prior to spraying operations.

Completed

Proposals for Amendment of the Offshore Chemicals Regulations 2002 and Offshore Petroleum Activities (Oil Pollution, Prevention and Control) Regulations 2005.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) ran this consultation between July and October 2009. A subsequent report was issued by DECC in July 2010.

DECC were concerned that the existing regulations gave them no powers to take enforcement action against operators of offshore installations in respect of unintentional releases of chemicals or oil (e.g. accidental oil spills).

This is because the current defi nition of "discharge" in the regulations relates to "operational" discharges (i.e. discharges which are incidental to day-to-day oil and gas production activities). Although it may be possible to take action in relation to such accidents under other statutory powers, the effect is that there is no single comprehensive regime applicable to unintentional chemical or oil releases from offshore installations.

The consultation proposals included:

  • A new concept of "release" to distinguish intentional from unintentional discharges.
  • A new offence in respect of releases and provisions for the issuing of relevant enforcement notices.

DECC plans to seek approval for new amending regulations that will implement the above proposals by late 2010/early 2011.

To view DECC's response to the consultation, please go to: www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/Consultations/amendmentsoffshorechemicalregs/143-response-consultationoffshore-chemic-regs.pdf

HSE campaigns and initiatives

Completed

Offshore Division Business Plan 2010/2011

HSE's Offshore Division launched their business plan for 2010/211 in April 2010. The main themes included:

Asset Integrity: A significant number of installations in the North Sea are approaching or have exceeded their original life expectancy. The Offshore division will carry out a three-year Ageing and Life Extension Inspection Programme to raise awareness of asset integrity risks, identify duty holders' attitudes to the issue and enforce remedial action where necessary.

Safety Culture: HSE see the involvement of workers in the development of safety culture as a particular area of importance. The Offshore Division will carry out a project during 2010/2011 to ensure that employers and workers understand the legal requirements to inform and consult workers and ensure that employers have adequate systems in place to allow for worker consultation and involvement in safety matters.

Leadership: HSE plan to develop an intervention procedure, which will enable them to assess the scope and depth of health and safety information available to senior leadership (including KPIs). HSE further plan to assess the checks in place to ensure the validity and reliability of that information.

It is likely that asset integrity and safety culture will be continuing priorities for the Offshore division. The industry will be keen to see how HSE plan to implement their assessment of leadership, which HSE hope to have developed fully for 2011/2012.

Completed

Ladder Exchange Initiative 2010

This annual initiative – running for three months between 1 September 2010 and 30 November 2010 – provides workers and businesses with a simple way to exchange damaged or bent ladders for safe new ones at a discounted price.

Nearly 7000 'dodgy' ladders have been exchanged during the three years that the initiative has been running.

HSE hope that the initiative, part of its larger 'Shattered Lives' campaign to tackle slips, trips and falls (see below), will prevent some of the 100 injuries each month resulting from falls from ladders.

Completed

Shattered Lives – Slips, Trip and Falls from Height

This campaign aims to raise awareness and prevent injuries from simple workplace hazards. According to statistics quoted by HSE, over 10,000 employees suffered a major injury in 2008/2009 as a consequence of a slip or trip. 4,000 employees suffered a major injury as a consequence of a fall at height.

The dedicated 'micro site' on the HSE website (www.hse.gov.uk/shatteredlives/) ncludes guidance and advice in relation to specific industries, including construction, hospitality and social care. The 'STEP' and 'WAIT' toolkits on the site include brief tutorials on the actions that businesses and workers can take to minimise risks.

Completed

Vehicle Load Safety

According to HSE, unsafe loads injure more than 1,200 people a year in the UK and cost businesses millions in damaged goods.

The campaign focuses on the securing of loads. It highlights the risks of shifting loads on transport vehicles, damaged lashings and mistaken reliance of curtains, which are merely for weather protection.

The HSE micro-site (www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/loadsafety/ ) provides detailed guidance and links to Department of Transport guidance on specific load types and vehicles.

Completed

Hidden Killer Campaign

This award-winning campaign aims to raise awareness of the risks of asbestos exposure and the types of products that typically contain asbestos fibres. It is aimed primarily at those working in the various trades.

While the dangers of asbestos are well known, its prevalence in everyday seemingly innocuous materials and products is less obvious. This campaign focuses on its 'hidden' nature.

The micro-site (www.hse.gov.uk/hiddenkiller/) contains guidance on what is needed in the way of licences, training and tools prior to working with asbestos. It also contains an interactive tool and quiz highlighting everyday household items that may contain asbestos parts. Additionally, the site highlights the right of workers to be informed if asbestos is in the building they are working on.

EU legislative process in brief

Various kinds of EU legislation exists and it may not always be clear to whom they apply and when. The main types are:

Directives do not automatically come into force in the UK; they must beimplemented by legislation at a national level. Until they are soimplemented, they are not directly effective against any individual orcompany. They may, however, be directly effective against a Governmentor Government body.

Regulations come into force in all EU Member States upon publication.

That means that they apply to individuals and companies without legislation on a national level.

Decisions are directed towards specific Member States, companies or individuals. They are binding on those to whom they are addressed.

Further Information

For further information on our health and safety services please contact Jan Burgess.EU legislative process in brief

Health and Safety – what we do

Our expertise

CMS Cameron McKenna is recognised as a leading fi rm in the area of Health and Safety law. We provide expert advice on regulatory compliance, prosecutions, investigations and corporate governance. We have specialist knowledge of the offshore and energy sectors in particular, which face greater challenges and regulation than most. However, our client base and expertise spans a broad range of sectors, including:

  • Aviation
  • Construction
  • Communications
  • Energy
  • Leisure
  • Manufacturing
  • Renewables
  • Transport

Regrettably, accidents at work can be serious and sometime result in fatalities. Our clients appreciate the high level of attention and support we are able to offer during what can be a difficult time for any organisation. We are able to provide assistance with every aspect of incident response, including incident investigations, dealing with witnesses, defending prosecutions and advising senior management on relations with the Health & Safety Executive.

Emergency Response team

Our specialist team is on call to provide assistance and respond to incidents 24 hours a day. Our team is qualified to practise in England, Wales and Scotland but also regularly advises clients in relation to international working practices and health & safety matters in other jurisdictions.

Our clients come to us for advice on:

  • Health and Safety prosecutions
  • Accident Inquiries
  • Formal interviews and investigations undertaken by inspectors
  • Corporate Manslaughter investigations
  • Inquests and Fatal Accident Inquiries
  • Appeals against Improvement and Enforcement Notices
  • Compliance with UK and European regulatory requirements
  • Drafting corporate Health and Safety policies and contract documentation
  • Safety aspects of projects and property management
  • Due diligence in corporate acquisitions/disposals
  • Directors' and officers' personal liabilities
  • Management training Courses
  • Personal injury defence
  • Risk management and training

Recent experience

  • Defending Health and Safety prosecutions of client companies.
  • Appealing other types of enforcement action against companies (e.g. Prohibition Notices).
  • Conducting numerous Coroners' Inquests and Fatal Accident Inquiries - including some of the most high-profile and complex Inquiries to have taken place in relation to offshore incidents.
  • Obtaining the first ever award of expenses against the Crown in favour of a client company following a Fatal Accident Inquiry.
  • Taking appeals to the High Court of Justiciary.
  • Taking appeals on human rights issues to the Privy Council.
  • Defending Judicial Reviews.
  • Advising on forthcoming Health & Safety legislation.
  • Assisting clients in consultations with the Health and Safety Executive and other regulatory bodies, including the Department for Energy and Climate Change.
  • Advising clients in relation to Safety Cases, Corporate Governance issues and Directors' duties and liabilities.
  • Undertaking transactional due diligence in relation to Health and Safety matters.
  • Advising clients on incident investigation, legal privilege and dealing with HSE inspectors.
  • Preparing and drafting incident investigation reports.
  • Advising clients on media, public relations and reputational issues following incidents.

This article was written for Law-Now, CMS Cameron McKenna's free online information service. To register for Law-Now, please go to www.law-now.com/law-now/mondaq

Law-Now information is for general purposes and guidance only. The information and opinions expressed in all Law-Now articles are not necessarily comprehensive and do not purport to give professional or legal advice. All Law-Now information relates to circumstances prevailing at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments.

The original publication date for this article was 12/11/2010.

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