Let’s go back to May 2022, when the country learned that the landscape of active safety legislation was potentially up for an overhaul. Why? Because part of leaving the European Union gave us the Brexit Freedoms Bill, which in turn paved the way to re-imagine existing regulations that were devised under our EU membership.  

Initial observations I witnessed among safety professionals, safety accreditation specialists and those departments dealing with SMEs nationwide was the cutting of the ‘red tape’, meaning a sense of safety ‘free for all’ and lack of any meaningful guidance.

From the perspective of an individual who has met hundreds of business owners from across numerous industries (both high and low risk), I foresaw this being a reason for them to worry rather than rejoice as many of them need the law to understand what they have to do, as well as how to make that accessible and transferrable into their workforce and day to day operations.

Having legislation or guidance to comply with comes as a comfort to a lot of people as it gives them parameters to abide by. The good news is that light remains at the end Health & Safety management tunnel and it comes in the form of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. These laws will remain in place as they were introduced under British legal structures.

What we all need to remember is that important regulations such as…

  • Management Of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, 
  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations, 
  • Display Screen Equipment Regulations, 
  • Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Regulations, 
  • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations
  • Personal Protective Equipment Regulations

…are all fit for purpose. Essentially, it means that any attempts to remove them won’t work, but they might be subject to change. There’s a possibility of alterations to make them clearer, more specific or more digestible – but they’ll remain in law.

Under ‘Section 2’ of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974; ‘It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees’. Whilst this exists, anyone worried about disarray and that ‘free for all’ can sleep easy in the knowledge that even though specific regulations might be changing, this and other sections mean continued efforts of moral, financial and legal safety compliance won’t be going anywhere.

I often find that business owners don’t want to know ‘why’ they need to do something, just ‘what’ they need to do – and that’s where HS Direct come in.

Providing support and guidance with adhering to Health & Safety legislation is our bread and butter, and we’re just on the other end of the phone to help. We’ll continue to watch out for, adapt and update you on any alterations that come about.