In light of the UK’s exit from the European Union (EU) there has been great deliberation regarding potential changes to health and safety rules and regulations.
Currently there is not a clear, long term path forwards. However, the HSE has issued short term guidance which we have summarised below.
These regulations vaguely identify that health and safety law will remain the same until such time as an amendment, act of parliament etc. can be agreed or passed.
This does not seek to determine whether current health and safety law is suitable, but rather attempts to ensure the continuation of health and safety standards until such a time as a need for change arises.
This is one in a series of industry specific Regulations that have been developed and shall be implemented upon the day of the exit.
Its purpose is to address the specific EU references found within domestic law and replace them with UK appropriate text. Wording such as ‘Member States’ and ‘The Council’ have been replace with terminologies relating to the HSE.
Amendments have been identified in some of the commonly used Regulations such as COSHH and The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH) 2015.
A separate item of Regulation has been devised for Chemicals and Genetic Modifications.
There are of course many other requirements in health and safety law which have been, shall be or will need to be reviewed and amended (appropriately), however these will only be suitably understood as the day of the exit arises and passes.
For now, the Government’s and the HSE’s commitment to the continuation of health and safety standards and compliance can be calming to many, and a relief to some.