Following on from Professor Löfstedt’s review which recommended simplification of the health and safety regulatory regime, the HSE have recommended that further pieces of legislation are revoked on the basis that they have become redundant. These include Notification of the Conventional Tower Cranes Regulations 2010 and the Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989 (“CHP Regulations”) which have been largely replaced by the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (“PPE Regulations”). Whilst the removal of redundant regulation was applauded, concerns were raised that this development should not be misunderstood. For example, whilst the majority of the construction industry may well be aware of the requirement for head protection as prescribed in the PPE Regulations, the removal of the CHP Regulations might lead to smaller companies wrongly forming the view that head protection is no longer required. In order to combat this issue, the HSE have confirmed that they will be targeting publicity to those smaller companies to avoid such misunderstanding. The revocation is expected to come into force in April 2013.
As part of the simplification process, the HSE are also consulting on plans to exempt some self employed from health and safety laws altogether. The exemption is proposed to apply to self-employed people whose work activities “pose no potential risk of harm” to others, or those who do not employ staff. Of the three options outlined in the consultations, the one favoured by the HSE is for a list of high risk sectors to be excluded from the exemption. That list as currently proposed includes construction, agriculture and gas fitting and installation, and is intended to ensure that there is no potential for dilution of health and safety standards in those sectors. Copies of the consultation documents can be found at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/ consult/condocs/cd242.htm.