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Moves to simplify health and safety take effect

The health and safety laws should be easier to understand and comply with from this month.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is making several changes to the regulations it is responsible for:

  • Introducing a new, easier-to-read version of the law poster employers must display

  • Reducing the number of forms employers must complete

  • Aligning chemical hazard information and packaging with new EU regulations

  • 'We are committed to making health and safety work better for everyone,' said Judith Hackitt, HSE chairman.

    'The changes we are introducing today will help ensure we all benefit from simpler and more effective health and safety regulation, whether that is by making the law easier to understand or getting rid of unnecessary form filling.

    'We have saved businesses more than £300M since we introduced our simplification plan in 2005 and are continually looking for ways to improve.'

    Today's changes are part of an ongoing drive by HSE to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and make health and safety regulation simpler and more effective.

    The biggest of the changes is the introduction of new version of its health and safety law poster and leaflet which will provide clearer information for workers about their right to work in places where there health and safety is properly protected.

    The posters are a fixture of every workplace in Britain.

    Employers have a legal duty to display the poster in a prominent position or provide each worker with a copy of the leaflet outlining health and safety laws.

    The new easy-to-read poster and pocket cards focuses on employees and sets out in simple terms what employers and workers must do, including when there is a problem.

    HSE is giving businesses five years to switch to the new leaflets and posters. They must be replaced by no later than April 5 2014.

    Any employers who choose to keep the old poster after April 6 2009 must make sure it is legible and keep the addresses of the enforcing authority and the employment medical advisory service up to date.

    The abolition of premises registration means that HSE has further reduced the number of health and safety forms employers in Great Britain have to fill out.

    Previously most employers were required to notify HSE or the relevant local authority of their premises. The changes mean that:

  • Factory employers no longer have to complete form F9 to notify HSE.
  • Office and shop employers no longer have to complete the OSR1 form and notify their local authority.

    HSE and local authorities collect information on businesses to help target their work on the greatest risks. Both are looking to improve the way they use and collect business data, including sharing information.

    A new version of the Chemicals Hazard Information for Supply (CHIP) Regulations has been produced to align CHIP with the new European Regulation on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures ('CLP' Regulation), which was introduced in January this year.

    The main changes are to allow suppliers to comply with the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation as an alternative to CHIP before the CLP Regulation become mandatory on December 1 2010 for substances and June 1 2015 for mixtures, and to provide powers for inspectors to enforce the CLP Regulation as well as CHIP.

  • The new law poster and pocket cards can be ordered from HSE Books (tel: 01787 881165) and will be distributed by HSE Books and booksellers from today.

  • 15 April 2009


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