Changes to health and safety law in October 2014

As of 1 October the following three health and safety laws have been introduced by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE):

1. Acetylene Safety (England & Wales & Scotland) Regulations 2014

The HSE has consolidated several existing regulations into one to simplify and modernise the rules regarding the use of acetylene. There are various changes but the main ones are as follows:

  • Businesses don’t now need to get approval from the HSE for certain acetylene equipment, as long as they comply with all of the current recognised standards.
  • Businesses or people wanting to manufacture, compress or fill a cylinder with acetylene gas greater than 0.62 bar must now hold a licence.

More information

2. Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014

The new Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 don’t change existing health and safety responsibilities but replace the licensing regime with a certification scheme.

The regulations apply to:

  • Workplaces that store petrol and dispense it through manual or electrical pumping from a storage tank (retail and non-retail)
  • Storage of petrol at non-workplace premises (e.g. private homes, clubs, etc.)

The certificate will be issued by the local Petroleum Enforcement Authority (PEA). Once the certificate is issued it cannot be revoked, but it may become invalid if a prescribed material change takes place or if petrol isn’t stored at the site for a continuous period exceeding 12 months. 

All existing licences will remain valid until their date expires when they will be converted to a storage certificate, as long as the storage conditions remain unchanged.

More information

3. Explosives Regulations 2014

The new Explosives Regulations simplify and consolidate the law into one regulation. They cover  workers’ safety and members of the public when they are manufacturing, handling and storing explosives. The main changes are as follows:

  • Local authorities can now issue licences for up to five years.
  • Licensing has been extended regarding the storage of ammonium nitrate blasting intermediate (ANBI).
  • The laws have been updated regarding the exceptions for keeping higher hazard and desensitised explosives without a licence.
  • The tables of  separation distances have been restructured to better allow for sites with more than one store. The tables have also been revised to cover quantities of explosives greater than 2000kg.
  • The list of explosives that can be obtained, or obtained and kept, without an explosives certificate from the police.
  • The revocation of the Fireworks Act 1951, as it has been superseded by the Pyrotechnic (Safety) Regulations 2010.

More information

Published on: October 17, 2014

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