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Brexit impact on health and safety changes? Be careful what you wish for!


There has been much debate and publicity about the potential for “Red Tape” to be stripped away or significantly reduced to the benefit of Business.  Of course, Health and Safety would be and is an obvious target.

There is a constant backstory of British business quoting the burden of EU regulation and in some cases the onerous health and safety legislation that emanated or originates in the EU. However, much of UK Health and Safety legislation is UK HSE and Government driven. The UK has led the way on workplace safety, health and wellbeing with the EU playing catch up. It is true to say that there are some EU originated regulations that do add burden to businesses but much of this relates to Environmental and Waste regulations and CE certification for manufactured equipment and items.

When you make a genuine attempt to list the Health and Safety regulations or Law that business leaders want stripping back, it becomes difficult to identify anything that genuinely creates a burden without delivering a significant benefit. As we know, Health and Safety is good business, applied and implemented correctly, aligned to business objectives, it not only adds value but will directly benefit bottom-line performance.  

As with Brexit, the subject of easing or deregulating Health and Safety legislation or LAW is a divisive one, splitting opinions between professionals, business leaders and owners as did the referendum. However, there is one common thread that unites everyone and that is we all want to maintain and continue to improve our health and safety records in the UK to the benefit of all who work and visit our businesses.   We believe that there is no argument that supports a step backwards in the pursuit of zero accidents and fatalities at work.  

At Park City, we are focusing on what we do know about how Brexit will impact Health and Safety.  Initially after the 31st of January 2020: 

  1. There will be NO CHANGE to the Health and Safety legislation and law. It will be business as usual.
  2. Employers Duties to protect employees will not change. 
  3. Duty-holders should continue to manage Health and Safety risks in a proportionate way and follow Health and Safety best practice and the guidelines relevant to their sector.
  4. There will be some minor changes to the wording in some regulations such as COSHH – for instance where the law refers to ‘member states’ and any reference to the EU will be amended to the UK and where applicable Scotland.

You can read more detailed information from the HSE. If you are in any doubt about what you need to do as a result of reading this article, please feel free to contact us for advice and support.  If you’re not already a client, we would welcome an opportunity to discuss how you could benefit from Park City’s support and advice. Request a conversation


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