Safety is the Key. Simple. Sensible. Safety. - New H & S Regulations
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More H&S Regulations...
As the proverbial saying goes, you wait for a bus then three come along at the same time! Whilst you may not be waiting for some new H&S regulations (!), three have come along at the same time. Here is a very brief outline. If you feel that they may apply to your business, call or email us for further information.
(Change 1) RADON GAS: From January 2018 tighter requirements relating to exposure to radon will apply. Could you be affected due to naturally occurring radon gas on your premises?
Radon is a radioactive gas which emanates from certain rocks and soil and is harmful to health. Prolonged exposure at a high level causes lung cancer. In fact, it’s the second greatest cause of lung cancer in the UK, and is associated with up to 2,000 fatal cancers per year.
A 2016 government study identified that 27% of basements in radon-susceptible areas had levels which would cause harm if staff were present for more than one hour per week.
Tip 1. To check if your property is at risk obtain a postcode-specific report from Public Health England (PHE) costing £3.90 including VAT. This is more accurate than trying to pick your way through shaded maps online.
Tip 2. You can purchase a radon measurement pack from the same website. Each detector costs £20.75 excluding VAT and you may need several to cover different basement and ground floor rooms. PHE staff will advise you.
The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has clarified that to comply with Management of Health and Safety Regulations, it expects radon measurements to be taken if your business is in an affected area identified by PHE; AND for all below ground workplaces occupied for at least an hour per week or which contain an open water source. Under new legislation, the safe limit has reduced by 25%, so now’s the time to take action.

(Change 2) LADDERS AND STEPLADDERS: From January 2018, new standards have been introduced so be careful not to step out of line.
Brought in by EN 131, the new quality standards for portable ladders will bring improved stability, strength and durability plus a simpler naming regime.
Tip 1. For use in the workplace you must now choose an EN131 Professional ladder or steps.
Tip 2. For home use, consumers can use the less robust EN131 Non-Professional ladder or steps.
Tip 3. Workplaces can still chose the ultra-robust Class 1 ladders or steps.
There will be a transition period to allow retailers to clear old stock though no end date has been given as yet. If your current ladders and steps comply and are safe, you don’t need to replace them. However, if purchasing new ladders, it makes sense to comply with these new standards.
Note: When purchasing, bear in mind that there are fakes out there, and the introduction of these changes may provide an opportunity for the scammers to take advantage of any confusion. One obvious sign of a fake is that it has a CE mark. CE marks are not applied to genuine ladders!
(Change 3) IONISING RADIATIONS REGULATIONS: New regulations will come into force in January 2018 regarding ionising radiation. Are you affected by the changes?
The HSE has published a draft version of the Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 which will replace the 1999 Regulations in January 2018. The changes are required by EU law.
The HSE believes that those most likely to be affected are in the nuclear and medical sectors. However, others who should pay attention include the educational, travel and security sectors, postal services and those within the horticulture industry who use x-ray machines.
Tip 1. If your business uses radioactive substances or electrical equipment that emits ionising radiation, you’ll be affected by this. Make sure that you’re prepared as the Regulations introduce significant changes. Make sure your Radiation Protection Supervisor (RPS) is aware!
One major change is to the dose limit for exposure to radiation for the lens of the eye. This is to be reduced to 20 millisieverts (from 150). The annual dose limits have not changed: (1) for an employee aged between 16 and 18, six millisieverts in a year; and (2) for pregnant employees, those under the age of 16 and members of the public no more than one millisievert.
The second major change is the introduction of a “graded approach”. This is a new system of regulatory control with three tiers: notification, registration and licensing.
Tip 1. Changes may be needed to radiation risk assessments, policies and local rules. The changes may affect your business as you need to guarantee compliance with the new legislation.
Tip 2. Any changes made to safety documents must be brought to the attention of affected staff. Keep a record in your radiation protection file to show that this information has been provided.
Tip 3. Monitoring records still need to be kept for a period of two years. When given reasonable notice, the monitoring results must be made available to those it may affect.

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