What after Brexit?

Not long until the UK leaves Brexit now (if we leave at all), but in the all the craziness and confusion going on, does anybody know what will happen to health and safety post Brexit?

The UK has been at the forefront of health and safety for decades now, since the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 health and safety has been one of our biggest exports. The amazing work we’ve doing at home has actually improved health, safety and well-being worldwide as other countries follow our lead and base their own Legislation on British Standards.

But what’s going to happen after Brexit? Which UK health and safety legislation will be affected and how?

With so many unanswered questions surrounding Brexit it seems not many have stopped to look at this one, but it’s well worth thinking about. How will your business, your team, your operations and your processes be affected – will you have to change everything overnight?

The short answer is (drum-roll please) … nothing.

The Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018, amend four current Regulations but offer no significant changes which need to be made by a business at ground level.

The amendments are all designed to ensure current legislation can still be applied post-Brexit. They do this by replacing EU directives with references to other relevant UK legislation. Where that’s not possible, they provide a clear definition within the amended regulation.

The key regulations affected are:

• Amendment of the Offshore Installations (Prevention of Fire and Explosion, and Emergency Response) Regulations 1995
• Amendment of the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996
• Amendment of the Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010
• Amendment of the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017.

However, all the changes are purely there to ensure the current way of doing things is applicable within the UK’s legal framework, when it (if it) sits outside of the European Union. The amendments will not change the requirements and expectations placed on business owners and managers.

Health and safety protections, and your duties to protect the health and safety of people, will not change with Brexit. ​

We have made minor amendments to regulations to remove EU references but legal requirements, and the protections these provide, will be the same as they are now.​

After Brexit you should continue to manage your business and employees in a proportionate way to reduce risk and to protect people and the environment Your obligations to protect people’s health and safety will not change with Brexit.

Health and Safety Executive

So there you have it, no big changes (for now). So with all the confusion and uncertaiinty surrounding the B-word at the moment, it’s nice to have a little steadiness to the ship.

Simplify your health and safety