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9th April 2013

‘Redundant’ Safety Regulations Removed

The health and safety legislative framework has been made simpler and clearer as new regulations that repeal and revoke a number of statutory instruments come into force on 6th April 2013.

The Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Repeals, Revocations and Amendments) Regulations 2013 were laid before Parliament on 4 March.

These Regulations repeal one Act and revoke 12 instruments (plus a related provision in the Factories Act 1961), which, according to the HSE, have either been superceded by more up-to-date regulations, are redundant, or do not deliver their intended benefits.

The HSE stresses that the changes do not compromise essential health and safety protections, but are aimed at making the legislative framework easier to understand.

Nevertheless, it is mindful that the changes – particularly in relation to the revocation of the Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989 – could send out the wrong message that employers do not need to concern themselves with certain health and safety requirements.

Employers will need to comply with the requirements of the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992, which have been amended so that they cover the provision and use of head protection on construction sites, thereby maintaining the same level of legal protection following the removal of the 1989 Regulations.

To guard against such complacency or misunderstanding, the HSE is working with the construction industry, especially small contractors, to ensure that it understands the continuing need for employers to provide hard hats and ensure they are worn on construction sites.

A full list of the revoked legislation is available here

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