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April 5, 2013

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Redundant’ safety regulations to be removed

The health and safety legislative framework should be simpler and clearer from tomorrow (6 April), as new regulations that repeal and revoke a number of statutory instruments come into force, subject to Parliamentary approval.

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12 instruments (plus a related provision in the Factories Act 1961), which, according to the HSE, have either been superceded by more up-to-date regulations, are redundant, or do not deliver their intended benefits.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

However, UCATT believes the HSE is not being proactive enough in this regard and is instead relying on the industry to send out the message that head protection is important. The construction union’s general secretary, Steve Murphy, warned: “Many construction companies will use the scrapping of the regulations as an excuse not to provide life-saving protective equipment.€

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These two are indefensible and should never have existed in the first place. A couple of cranes fall down and boom, a regulation is born! Knee jerk reactionary health & safety that failed to address the causes and instead opted to burden construction companies.

•Notification of Conventional Tower Cranes Regulations 2010
•Notification of Conventional Tower Cranes (Amendment) Regulations 2010.


I note UCATT is still trying to retain overlapping / duplicating pieces of legislation. In the end, the PPE regs should be used to cover ALL PPE.

Regardless of how many sets of regulations cover a particular process or activity, the unions have always been duplicitous, defending the indefensible when their members are injured because they do not follow the simplest of rules.


Such an argument for keeping H&S red tape is grasping at straws! They are only tinkering at the edges. Lots more could go.

See the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 (as amended) . We apply it to H&S & other customers. Overdue accounts are charged interest automatically at bank rate +8% pa. It doesn’t need to be included in Terms & Conditions.

The regulatory Impact analysis of £90K is as imaginary as the idea that H&S costs are repaid in terms of productivity!


Dont slag off the unions, their reps are the only ones proactively ensuring compliance.
Most accidents/near misses are not due to failing to follow “the simplist of rules” as you state but down to the ‘turn a blind eye’ mentality of a large number of dinosaur managers who see health and safety as an unnecessary obstacle to getting a job done and the unspoken pressure placed by them onto workers to cut corners to meet deadlines.
Hopefully I write as an enlightened manager and safety rep.


Indeed – from the Regulatory Impact Assessment, repealing these regulations etc will save British Business about £90,000. The Federation of Small Businesses estimates that businesses spend around 14 days per year ‘chasing overdue bills’. Once we take in a few million small businesses then overdue bills cost British Businesses tens of millions of pounds to chase up. Nothing of any substance is being done by Government about this. Thus is revealed the irrational basis of the Red Tape Fallacy.


The argument is not about Red Tape – it is about the fallacy of the ‘unnecessary burden’ these 12 Acts/Regs cost British Business. The answer is practically nothing. Their removal will save British Industry practically nothing. Either putting Hard Hat Regs in PPE Regs or leaving them alone will save employers nothing. As 3,200 construction workers were illegally blacklisted by many large construction companies for raising health and safety complaints UCATT’s position is quite logical.


Phew…the Celluloid and Cinematograph Film Act 1922 has finally been removed.
Now we can get the economy moving…lol


How many hours in consultation, how much in legal charges and time in Parliament to introduce these “improvements” which will do (almost) nothing for most businesses. Of course, if you have paperwork relating to these SI’s, you will have the “red tape” and cost of revising them.