Brexit Vs Health & Safety Regulations


For the UK leaving the EU, it will be neither brief or plain sailing. With the Prime Minister announcing she will trigger Article 50 in early 2017, at least now we see the starting pistol has been loaded. But how does this affect your business and your responsibilities to Health & Safety? Which regulations will survive and which will go? Will window cleaners be returning to ladders? Ermmmm…no.

The UK will continue to meet its EU obligations whilst we are in the EU, so regulations concerning Health & Safety laws will remain. How the mass of H&S regs will look after the Brexit negotiations is anyone’s guess.

So it is business as usual for now, the HSE will support and lead Departments as the work on negotiations progress.

Separately, however HSE are starting fundamental reviews of the regulations governing the use of hazardous materials in the workplace (excluding asbestos)

Up for review are COSHH, CLAW and DSEAR regulations.

What is the aim of the review?

HSE are in consultation with the cleaning industry. They want to simplify the regulatory framework making it easy for duty holders to comply with their duties in doing so maintaining a high level of H&S protection and to promote proportional risk management. The review not only covers the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) but also, Control of Lead at Work Regulations (CLAW) and Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR)

Pierre Cruse from HSE’s Chemical unit says, “Early feedback from the review findings gave an indication that small employers find regulations complicated and that there was a need to simplify”.

The consultation proposed changes to the Risk Assessment Guidelines came to an end last month.