Now that the UK has finally exited Europe, what impact has it had on Health and Safety Law in the UK?
Do we have to change our existing paperwork in any way or rewrite our Risk Assessments?
The Short and Simple answer is NOT at all!
The Health and Safety (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 were drawn up under the existing H&S at Work Act 1974, which predates all EU directives that have affected UK Legislation. These regulations ensure that EU derived Health and Safety protections will continue to be available in UK domestic law following the exit from the European Union.
It is important to remember that the main principles that require employers to assess, avoid and reduce workplace risks to their employees should continue without change in order to comply with existing UK laws. The key principles of Risk Management contained in the H&S at Work Act 1974 and The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 will continue to apply.
Prior to the Brexit deadline the HSE released a statement to confirm this position:
‘After Brexit you should continue to manage your business and employees in a proportionate way to reduce risk and protect people, and the environment. Your obligations to protect people’s health and safety will not change with Brexit’.
The same principle applies to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which was enacted under the Fire Precautions Act 1971. It is likely during 2021 that Fire Safety Legislation will be reviewed in the light of the Grenfell Enquiry, and any such changes will be suitably published on the HSE and Government websites.
In the meantime, it is business as usual (within the confines of UK lockdown procedures, sadly!).
We will keep you posted in the usual ways with any changes that may come our way, in the interim, remember we are ‘safer working together’.