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HSE moves to simplify health and safety

MOVES to make the UK’s health and safety laws easier to understand and comply with came into effect earlier this week as part of an ongoing drive by the Health and Safety Executive to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and make health and safety regulation simpler and more effective.

Under the changes, the HSE is introducing a new, easier to read version of the law poster that employers must display; reducing the number of forms that employers must complete; simplifying arrangements for the manufacture and storage of explosives; and aligning chemical hazard information and packaging with new EU regulations.

HSE chair Judith Hackitt said: ‘We are committed to making health and safety work better for everyone. The changes we are introducing today [Monday 6 April] will help ensure that we all benefit from simpler and more effective health and safety regulation – whether that is by making the law easier to understand or getting rid of unnecessary form-filling.’

The biggest of the changes is the introduction of a new version of the health and safety law poster, which is a fixture of every workplace in Britain. Employers will have until 5 April 2014 to switch to the new easy-to-read poster and its accompanying employee pocket cards.

Meanwhile, the abolition of premises registration will reduce the number of health and safety forms that employers have to fill out, while the amendments to explosives regulations will reduce paperwork for the police and holders of explosives certificates, which will now be valid for up to five years.

Finally, a new version of the Chemicals Hazard Information for Supply (CHIP) Regulations has been produced to align CHIP with the new European Regulation on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP Regulation), which was introduced in January this year and becomes mandatory on 1 December 2010 for substances and 1 June 2015 for mixtures.

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