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WORKPLACE REGULATIONS

Changes to Biocidal Products Regulations 2001

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is aiming to make some simple changes to the Biocidal Product Regulations 2001.
The draft proposals contain three main amendments from the current regulations which are:

Keeping biocides on the market after 14 May 2010

The European Commission has confirmed the review of existing active substances will not be completed within the 10-year deadline, which is due to end on 14 May 2010. To overcome this problem, it has been agreed to extend the transitional period by four years during which existing active substances will be reviewed and considered for inclusion in Annex I of the Biocides Directive, and to extend data protection periods by the same period for information submitted under the Biocides Directive.
 
Updating certain references in the 2001 Regulations
 
The 2001 Regulations refer to various pieces of legislation that are relevant to the scope or operation of the biocides regime. Since the 2001 Regulations were made, several of these have changed and it is proposed that references are updated accordingly to reflect these changes.
 
Adjusting the 2001 Regulations
 
The reference to 'placing on the market' will be redefined to make clear that any act of supply constitutes a ‘placing on the market’, as does any act of storage other than storage followed by consignment out of the customs territory of the Community or by disposal.
The adjustments will provide clarity in particular about the position when storing and supplying unauthorized products for export outside the European Customs territory.
It is also proposed to amend the reference to importation into Great Britain being an act of ‘placing on the market’, so that it refers more precisely to importation of a biocidal product, in line with the definition in the Biocides Directive.

CD225 - Consultation on legislation to transpose the directive explosives for civil uses

This joint consultation by HSE and the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) concerns the proposed legislation transposing the European Commission Directive 2008/43/EC on the Identification and Traceability of Explosives for Civil Uses. This consultation includes Northern Ireland and the NIO intends using this consultation for drafting equivalent Northern Ireland Regulations and will not undertake a separate formal consultation.
The proposed Regulations, for both GB and NI, require that explosives for civil uses manufactured or imported into the European Community are uniquely identified and can be traced from the production site through to their final use. This is with a view to preventing misuse and theft, and assisting authorities in tracing the origin of lost or stolen explosives.
The main duties are:
•Product identification - explosives manufactured in, or imported into a member state after 5 April 2012 are uniquely marked with an alphanumerical code and barcode;
•Record keeping - all undertakings involved in the manufacture, import, transfer or use of the explosives:
•record their involvement in the movement of the explosives and keep these records for 10 years; and
•provide the responsible authorities with contact details so that information in their records can be accessed at any time necessary.
They do not apply to:
•pyrotechnics for example, flares or fireworks, ammunition
•unpackaged explosives transported and delivered for direct unloading into the blast-hole for example in pump trucks;
•explosives produced in situ for immediate use; and
•explosives for legal use by the military or police.


New Health and Safety Notices

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is urging companies not to ignore enforcement notices after a dental laboratory in Greater Manchester was ordered to pay £4,000.
Rossford Dental Laboratory Ltd, which is based on Chorley Road in Swinton, was served with an Improvement Notice in March 2008 after an HSE inspector visited the site and found it to be extremely unclean, putting the health of workers at risk.
HSE issues enforcement notices when it finds serious breaches of health and safety regulations. There are two types of notices – improvement and prohibition. Improvement Notices require changes to be made within at least 21 days, and Prohibition Notices stop work from taking place until specific improvements have been made.

 
Approach to Combat Silly Myths

Bath and North East Somerset Council has joined forces with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to promote a ‘sensible’ approach to risk and combat some of the silly myths which have grown up around health and safety issues.
The official sign-up between Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Chief Executive, John Everitt, and HSE Regional Director for Wales and South West, Terry Rose, took place this Tuesday (25 August 2009) at the Guild Hall, Bath. In signing, BANES has joined fellow South West Local Authorities Bristol, Devon, Exeter, Mendip, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Poole, Somerset, South Hams, Swindon, Teignbridge and Torridge and Sedgemoor District Council, in agreeing to adopt the ‘ten principles of sensible risk management’. These principles give organisations practical, ‘sensible’ advice on what risk management should - and should not - encompass.
The ‘Sensible Risk’ campaign was first launched at the Local Government Association’s (LGA) annual conference in Birmingham in July 2006, where an initial group of local authority Chief Executives signed up to the ten principles.

Extension to Biocidal Products Directives

The mini review of the Biocidal Products Directive (BPD) has been completed and will shortly be published in the Official Journal of the European Union. As you will be aware one of the outcomes of the review is to extend the BPD Transitional Period to 14th May 2014.

The UK Biocidal Products Regulations (BPR) needs amending to transpose/implement this amendment into UK law. The consultation to amend BPR[1] has been published and it is anticipated that the amending Regulation will come into force on the 6th April 2010. 

Only once the amending Regulation comes into force will products approved under the Control of Pesticides Regulations (COPR) be extended from 14th May 2010 to the relevant expiry date. It is expected that COPR Notices of Amendment will be issued in mid April 2010.


Formal response on Explosion at ICL Plastics

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has today published its preliminary formal response to the official Inquiry, led by Lord Gill, into the fatal explosion at the ICL factory in Maryhill, Glasgow, in 2004.
Following publication of Lord Gill’s report on 16 July, Work and Pensions Secretary Yvette Cooper asked HSE to outline what action it was taking to address areas of concern identified by the Inquiry.
In its response to Yvette Cooper, Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and the Secretary of State for Scotland Jim Murphy, HSE reported that it:
•Pledged to learn lessons and acknowledged that Lord Gill's inquiry into the facts leading up to the explosion was fair and accurate 
•Had moved on significantly from 1980s and 1990s inspection practices to better appreciate, track and audit issues of regulatory concern. 
•Had been thorough in producing a proper safety assessment of the risks associated with the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and was making progress with industry on preparing a risk-based and prioritised replacement programme for underground metallic LPG pipe-work, to be complete by end of 2015. 
•Went further than Lord Gill suggested in developing plans for tackling the risks to domestic properties with LPG supplies 
•Had initiated a 12-week preliminary consultation on the proposals for changes in the regulation of the LPG industry system, and the application of Lord Gill’s recommendations to other areas of health and safety regulation.

Tractor Deaths 

Updated, simple, step-by-step guidance on tractor safety is now available for farmers.

Published by the Health and Safety Executive, it follows a number of recent deaths involving tractors, including a 39-year-old worker who died in East Yorkshire last month while apparently trying to fix a machine with the tractor running and a 46-year-old Scottish man who died in August after his tractor overturned into a ditch.

On average ten people a year die in tractor accidents and there are many major injuries.  But simple safety steps would have prevented most of them.  The updated leaflet, Tractor action: A step-by-step guide to using tractors safely, outlines some essential guidelines to working with tractors in a safe way.

Work Related Stress 

The Management Standards define the characteristics, or culture, of an organisation where the risks from work related stress are being effectively managed and controlled.

The Management Standards cover six key areas of work design that, if not properly managed, are associated with poor health and well-being, lower productivity and increased sickness absence. In other words, the six Management Standards cover the primary sources of stress at work. These are:
•    Demands[1] – this includes issues such as workload, work patterns and the work environment.
•    Control[2] – how much say the person has in the way they do their work.
•    Support[3] – this includes the encouragement, sponsorship and resources provided by the organisation, line management and colleagues.
•    Relationships[4] – this includes promoting positive working to avoid conflict and dealing with unacceptable behaviour.
•    Role[5] – whether people understand their role within the organisation and whether the organisation ensures that they do not have conflicting roles.
•    Change[6] – how organisational change (large or small) is managed and communicated in the organisation.

The Management Standards represent a set of conditions that, if present, reflect a high level of health well-being and organisational performance.

The Management Standards:
•    demonstrate good practice through a step by step risk assessment approach;
•    allow assessment of the current situation using surveys and other techniques;
•    promote active discussion and working in partnership with employees to help decide on practical improvements that can be made;
•    help simplify risk assessment for work related stress by: 
o    identifying the main risk factors for work related stress;
o    helping employers focus on the underlying causes and their prevention; and
o    providing a yardstick by which organisations can gauge their performance in tackling the key causes of stress.

Joint Regulations on EPR

EPR Pressurized Water Reactor

The UK nuclear safety regulator (HSE's ND), the French nuclear regulator (ASN), and the Finnish nuclear regulator (STUK) are currently working to assess the EPR Pressurised Water Reactor.

In carrying out individual assessments, we have all raised issues regarding the EPR Control and Instrumentation (C&I) systems, which the proposed licensees and/or the manufacturer (AREVA) are in the process of addressing.
 
Although the EPR design being developed for each country varies slightly, the issues we raised with the current C&I system are broadly similar, our aim being to collectively obtain the highest levels of safety from the EPR.

The issue is primarily around ensuring the adequacy of the safety systems (those used to maintain control of the plant if it goes outside normal conditions), and their independence from the control systems (those used to operate the plant under normal conditions).

Independence is important because, if a safety system provides protection against the failure of a control system, then they should not fail together.  The EPR design, as originally proposed by the licensees and the manufacturer, AREVA, doesn't comply with the independence principle, as there is a very high degree of complex interconnectivity between the control and safety systems.

As a consequence of this, the UK nuclear safety regulator (HSE's ND), the French nuclear regulator (ASN), and the Finnish nuclear regulator (STUK)  have asked the licensee and manufacturer to make improvements to the initial EPR design. The licensees, and AREVA, have agreed to make architectural changes to the initial EPR design which will be reviewed by the regulators.

It is for the licensees and the manufacturer, AREVA, to respond to its regulator's issues. However, as designs are similar, it is likely that the solution will be similar, although not necessarily identical, taking into account individual licensees' requirements and national regulatory requirements or practises.  As an example, in providing defence-in-depth, different solutions could be proposed to back-up safety systems.  In all cases, however, the solutions will lead to equivalent high levels of safety.
  
This is a good example of how independent regulators working closely together can promote a shared understanding and application of existing international standards, and promote the harmonisation of regulatory standards and the build of reactor designs with the highest levels of safety.

Risk in Caring for vulnerable people.

Organisations responsible for the care of vulnerable people must ensure that an effective risk assessment regime is in place and that any risks are properly addressed and managed, says the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) 

The warning follows the death of an inpatient, Sylvan Money, who was found hanging in her room at the Bronllys Adult Mental Illness Unit in Brecon in January 2004.

Powys Local Health Board was prosecuted by HSE under section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. It pleaded guilty to the charge during an earlier hearing at Brecon Magistrates Court, and was fined £30,000 with £46,849.50 costs at a sentencing hearing in Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Friday (18 Sep).
The inquest into Ms Money's death ruled that she took her own life while the balance of her mind was disturbed. 

An investigation by HSE revealed that the Trust or the Local Health Board failed to act on a risk assessment – carried out by the Trust’s predecessor – that identified potential ligature points in the unit i.e. points where material could be tied by people intent on harming themselves by hanging.