Construction Health and Safety Consultancy and CDM Adviser Services

Health and Safety Law Changes Ahead – How Do They Affect You?
Posted by David Cant on September 25, 2014

Health and Safety Law Changes

Health and Safety ExecutiveFrom the 1st of October there will be three key changes to Health and Safety in the UK thanks to the implementation of new legislation. Much of the details of these laws are designed to consolidate existing guidelines and regulations, but there are some key changes which your responsible person will need to be aware of in case they affect your organisation.

Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014

This particular law seeks to simplify the rules surrounding petrol storage. The new act replaces eight older laws, introduces an approved code of practice for businesses storing petrol and also a new document – L93.

The new regulations have wide ranging implications. As might be expected, workplaces that store and pump fuel from tanks are affected, but so too are people storing petrol at home.

Assuming that there are no “material changes” to the petrol storage provisions, businesses will see very little change. The most obvious change will happen at the expiry of their existing storage license – instead of receiving a renewal notice, they will instead receive a new, non-renewable L93 certificate in its place. This certificate is irrevocable and will not be invalidated unless:

  • Petrol is not stored on site for a period of greater than 12 months.
  • A storage tank is permanently retired from use, decommissioned or removed completely.
  • New tanks, pipework or pumping equipment is installed.

All existing health and safety obligations remain unchanged by the new legislation, and failure to comply could result in a fine of up to £20,000 (or more if the case is passed to the Crown Court).

Acetylene safety (England & Wales & Scotland Regulations 2014

From the 1st of October, health and safety consultants should find management of acetylene on site much easier as this new legislation consolidates and replaces all previously applicable laws. There are two key changes your team needs to be aware of however:

  1. HSE approval is no longer required for certain acetylene equipment as long as it complies with currently recognised standards.
  2. Companies involved in filling acetylene gas containers at pressures above 0.62 bar will need to apply for a licence to do so. The legislation is also intended to simplify the approval process.

Your business should audit acetylene activities as soon as possible to decide whether additional action is required from 1st October.

Explosives Regulations 2014

Again, this law is designed to replace all applicable explosives legislation to make management simpler for businesses. Among the key changes are:

  • The issuance of 5-year licences by local authorities.
  • An updated list of explosives that can be bought or stored without obtaining a certificate from the police.
  • The final repeal of the Fireworks Act 1951 which has since been superseded by the Pyrotechnic (Safety) Regulations 2010.
  • A clarification of the rules governing the storage of explosives, particularly where businesses have more than one store.

Obviously there is a lot more detail in each of these new laws and your responsible person will need to familiarise themselves with the changes in readiness for the October 1st go-live.

So over to you – which of the new laws will affect your business most? How?


David Cant is a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner extraordinaire. He has a wealth of Industry experience and is the MD of Veritas Consulting. David also Blogs about Health and Safety here Health and Safety Consultants

His aim is to flavour Health and Safety with integrity, served with a side of humour You can find David on - Twitter and Google also Linkedin

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