What the new H&S self employed guidance means to SafeContractor members

The recommendations from the Löfstedt Review were accepted by Government, and are due to come into force on 1st October 2015.

The regulation will result in approx. 1.7 million self-employed being exempted from health and safety law. However it does not exempt all self-employed from the law. If you are self-employed and employ others the law will still apply to you. Health and safety law will still apply to self-employed who work in high risk activities. These include:

i) Agriculture

ii) Construction

iii) Gas

iv) Railways

v) Asbestos

vi) Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

The law will also apply if your work activities poses a risk to the health and safety of others Most people will know if there work would pose a risk to the health and safety of others. If unsure a self-employed person must consider the work and judge whether if creates a risk (basically asking someone to carry out a risk assessment to determine if the law applies to them).

What does this mean to SafeContractor members?

SafeContractor support efforts to reduce the burden of unnecessary bureaucracy on contractors. However, the exemptions would not apply to most contractors and we strongly urge members not to assume that they no longer have duties under health and safety law.

Self-employed members of SafeContractor who undertake the following activities (this is a representative not fully comprehensive list) will still be covered by health and safety law including:

  • Health and safety consultants
  • Architects/Civil Engineers/Structural Engineers and other design disciplines (The law applies as these activities have specific duties under CDM 2015)
  • CDM Advisors (although not a statutory role, many former self-employed CDMCs will be providing this service. These will be providing advice to duty holders under CDM 2015 and this will affect how they discharge these duties) Window cleaners – Their activities could pose a risk to other people eg falling ladders, trip hazards from water-fed poles, collapse of MEWPs etc.
  • Asbestos surveyors / samplers – The regulations specifically state that this type of work is not exempt from safety law
  • Grounds Maintenance contractors / gardeners using chainsaws (and similar equipment), pesticides etc. These can pose a risk to other people.

For more details of the regulations click here.

Post date: 26 Aug 2015

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