Big changes to health and safety regulations for the self-employed
Posted on 7th Sep, 2015 | By Lorretta Tatham
At Browns Ladders we make it our priority to stay on top of the latest health and safety information. This not only helps up pass on the all-important safety advice to you, our customers, it also ensures that we can make sure that our product range meets safety guidelines accordingly. One of the most recent changes to health and safety regulations, which comes into force on 1st October this year, affects the self-employed and makes a potentially huge impact on how they might work…
Recommendations from 2011 review to come into action
In 2011, the Lofstedt Review, an independent review of health and safety legislation presented to UK Government, recommended that those who were self-employed be exempt from health and safety law under certain conditions. If their work activities posed no potential risk of harm to others, the report recommend they should be exempt from following health and safety law. This recommendation was accepted by Government and will finally become active on 1st October this year.
The result of this amendment is set to make a huge impact on the number of self-employed people subject to health and safety law. It’s expected that health and safety law will no longer apply to 1.7 million self-employed people – from accountants, to financial advisors and journalists. If you’re a tradesperson though, there’s still a high chance that health and safety law will apply to you.
Sectors still affected by health and safety law
To make things clear, the Government listed work activities they saw as posing risks to others. These included:
- Agriculture – All work defined in regulation 2 (1) of the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1998
- Construction – All work defined in the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015
- Gas – All work defined in the Gas Safety (Installation and Use_ Regulations 1998
- Railways – All work defined in regulation 2 of the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority for Railways and Other Guided Transport Systems) Regulations 2006
Those working in any of the areas above will remain subject to health and safety law, just as they always have been. This means that self-employed workers in these fields must consider the likelihood of someone else being harmed or injured as a result of their work activity. As part of your job you will need to judge for yourself whether your work creates a risk or not. If you think it might carry risks to others you must take the appropriate steps to protect those around you – such as the public, clients and contractors – to ensure you don’t break the law.
For more tips and advice on carrying out a proper risk assessment and ensuring you’re meeting health and safety law, take a look at the Risk Management guide on the Health and Safety Executive web pages.
You might also like to browse the wide variety of topics covered on our safety training courses – designed to give the knowledge you need to complete a job safely.
What are your thoughts on the new health and safety regulations for the self-employed? Tell us in the comments below or tweet your thoughts to us @BrownsLadders