Legislation updates - Health & safety
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974/Health and Safety Offences Act 2008
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the primary piece of legislation regarding occupational health and safety in the UK. It places a duty on employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees.
Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998
These regulations aim to reduce the risks posed to people’s health and safety from lifting equipment provided for use at work. They replace most of the prior legal requirements on lifting, such as the Construction (Lifting Operations) Regulations 1961, the Docks Regulations 1988 and the Lifting Plant and Equipment (Records of Test and Examination etc) Regulations 1992.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER) were first introduced in 1992 and were updated in 1998. They require that equipment is suitable for the intended use; kept in good condition; only used by people who have received training; and accompanied by appropriate safety measures, e.g. protective devices.
Manual Handling Regulations
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992, as amended in 2002, apply to a wide range of manual handling activities, including lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling or carrying. However, they do not set a specific limit on the amount of weight a person can lift or carry.
Individual risk assessments for employees with a disability also need to be carried out to comply with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995
Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
These regulations require that personal protective equipment is supplied and used at work wherever there are risks to health and safety that cannot be adequately controlled in other ways. The equipment must be assessed before use, properly maintained and instructions provided on use.
Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005
The regulations require employers to prevent or reduce risks to health and safety from exposure to noise at work. They apply to workplaces in which there is intrusive noise for most of the day or where workers use noisy powered tools or machinery for more than half an hour per day.
Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005
Work at Height Regulations 2005 (amended)
This regulation and its 2007 amendment exist to minimise deaths and injuries caused by falling from height at work. They consolidate all previous legislation in this area and European Council Directive 2001/45/EC on the safe use of equipment for work at height.
The Approved Code of Practice (ACoP)
The Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) has special legal status and gives practical advice to those involved in construction work. If you follow the advice in the ACoP you will be doing sufficient to comply with the law in respect of those specific areas where it gives advice.
ACoP explains the legal duties placed on clients, CDM co-ordinators, designers, principal contractors, contractors, self employed and workers. It will also explain which projects need to be notified to the HSE and gives guidance on how this should be done.
Copies of the ACoP are available from HSE books at www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l144.htm
ACoP also led to the formation of the Safety Schemes in Procurement SSiP (of which Constructionline are a founder member).
Further information is available at www.ssip.org.uk
Legislation updates - Environmental
Site Waste Management Plan Regulations 2008
The regulations require that all construction projects worth more than £300,000 have a site waste management plan, which should be updated throughout the course of the project. The waste management plan should contain details of the amount and type of waste produced and how it will be reused, recycled or disposed of. The plan should be updated as a project develops and additional details are needed for projects that cost more than £500,000.
Recording all waste movements in one document is intended to increase the amount of construction .
Consultation on Better Regulation Review of for Installations regulated under the Local Air Pollution Prevention and Control
In November 2008, a consultation was jointly launched by the Department for Food and Rural Affairs, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Scottish Government on the appropriate level of regulation for installations regulated under the Local Air Pollution Prevention and Control (LAPPC) regime.
Hazardous Waste (England & Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2009
The 2005 regulations stated that sites producing less than 200kg of hazardous waste a year posed a low environmental risk and therefore were exempt from the requirement to inform the Environment Agency of their location. Following the consultation it was decided to increase this threshold to 500kg.
Under the 2005 regulations there was confusion about whether or not the provisions on asbestos applied to households. The 2009 amendment clarified that occupiers of domestic premises were not subject to the 2005 regulations, but that contractors dealing with the asbestos waste at such premises were.
Consultation on the implementation of the Paint Products Regulations 2005 - regarding the consumption of VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) – January 2009
In January 2009 the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs launched a consultation on the implementation of the Paint Products Regulations 2005 addressing monitoring and enforcement issues. The Paints Products Regulations 2005 implemented the EC Paints Directive (2004/42/EC) in the UK.
Greater London Assembly Best Practice Guidance on the Control of Dust and Emissions from Construction and Demolition 2006
The Greater London Authority published best practice guidance on how to reduce emissions from construction and demolition sites in London. This includes measures to require the use of after treatment devices on construction site machinery operating at designated high risk sites.
European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive 2002 and recast
The Directive is intended to improve the energy performance of buildings through cost-effective measures. It was transferred into UK law through the Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) Regulations 2007.
Energy Performance Certificates and Display Energy Certificates
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are required whenever a building is being bought or sold, as part of a series of measures across Europe to cut carbon emissions from buildings. The certificates give the building a rating from A-G, with A being the most energy efficient. They are produced by accredited energy assessors along with a report with suggestions on how the building could become more energy efficient.
Environmental Assessment Methods - BREEAM
BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) is the most widely used form of environmental assessment for buildings, established by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) in the UK.
It was created as a tool to measure the sustainability of new, non-domestic buildings by awarding points for performance in different areas and setting a benchmark for environmental performance. The method is based on the research of the BRE and is fully independent.
Prepared January 2010