During the course of 2007, a number of new pieces of health and safety legislation and amendments to existing legislation will come into force. In line with the Health & Safety Executive’s commitment to helping businesses and other stakeholders adapt to changes in health and safety policy, legislative changes will only be implemented on one of two common commencement dates: 6 April or 1 October.

This briefing note provides a brief explanation of the changes that will be coming into force on 6 April and 1 October this year.

Changes coming into force on 6 April 2007

  1. Work at Height Amendment Regulations 2007 (“WAHAR 2007”)

WAHAR 2007 removes the exemption relating to workers who are paid to lead or train others in climbing and caving activities in the adventure activity sector. Such workers will now come within the provisions of the Work at Height Regulations 2005 (“WAHR 2005”). In addition, WAHAR 2007 inserts a special provision into WAHR 2005 relating to caving and climbing. The new provision states that an employer or a self employed person will be taken to have complied with the caving and climbing requirements (set out in WAHR 2005) if he maintains a level of safety equivalent to that required by those requirements.

A link to WAHAR 2007 can be found by clicking here.

  1. Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 (“CDM 2007”)

In response to industry concerns that the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994 (“CDM 1994”) are overly complex and bureaucratic (resulting in the underlying health and safety objectives being frustrated), the Health & Safety Executive has produced a simplified set of regulations incorporating both CDM 1994 and the Construction (Health Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1996.

The main changes brought about by CDM 2007 and the accompanying Approved Code of Practice are as follows.

  • An enhanced duty on clients that more accurately reflects the control clients have in relation to health and safety matters on site.
  • Clients will no longer be able to transfer their criminal liabilities under the regulations to an agent.
  • The role of planning supervisor is to be replaced by a new duty holder known as the “CDM co-ordinator”. The CDM co-ordinator will have similar duties as the planning supervisor under CDM 1994 but, in addition, will be responsible for assisting the client in meeting its duties under CDM 2007.
  • There will be improved guidance relating to the assessment of competence of persons and organisations prior to their appointment. CDM 2007 will apply to projects starting before the regulations come into force on 6 April 2007. However, CDM 2007 contains transitional provisions which modify the operation of some of the regulations in respect of those projects starting before 6 April 2007. A link to CDM 2007 can be found by clicking here.

If you would like further information on CDM 2007, please contact either Alison Garrett (01223 222207, [email protected]) or Anna Parr (01223 222402, [email protected]).

  1. Biocidal Products (Amendment) Regulations 2007 (“BPAR 2007”)

BPAR 2007 amends the existing Biocidal Products Regulations 2001 so as to implement further provisions of the Biocidal Products Directive (98/8/EC).

A link to BPAR 2007 can be found by clicking here.

Changes coming into force on 1 October 2007

  1. Coal Mines (Inhalable Dust) Regulations (“CMIDR”)

CMIDR implements the requirements of the Chemical Agents Directive (98/24/EC) as far as they relate to coal mine dust and will replace the Coal Mines (Respirable Dust) Regulations 1975. CMIDR will set time-weighted exposure limits and require those with significant exposure to inhalable dust to be placed under health surveillance. CMIDR has not yet been laid before Parliament.

  1. Indicative Occupational Exposure Limit Values – Implementation of Second IOELV Directive

The second IOELV Directive (2006/15/EC) contains a list of 33 substances and corresponding IOELVs, ie levels of exposure below which no detrimental effects are expected. For each of the 33 substances, member states must establish a national occupational exposure limit value.

A link to the Health & Safety Executive’s proposal for implementation of the second Directive can be found by clicking here.