The first batch of proposed legislation for the Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee to consider have been published.

These proposed Statutory Instruments (SIs) are the start of a series of proposed legislative changes that will be necessary for when the UK leaves the European Union on "exit day". Prior to being implemented into law, these SIs will pass through the newly established Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committees. Each House will have its own designated Committees.

The Committees will be taking up the role of "sifting" through proposed negative instruments following the passing of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

The European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 gives Ministers wide powers to make Regulations to deal with the deficiencies in retained EU law which will result from the UK's withdrawal from the EU. It allows them a choice of procedure and most Regulations will first be laid as "proposed negative instruments", which after a "sifting" process, will be laid as SIs.

The process

How the process will work:

  • Ministers will propose negative instruments for consideration;
  • the Committees will have 10 days, starting the day after the proposed negative instrument is laid to scrutinise the proposed legislation and make their recommendations;
  • if either Committee recommends a proposed negative instrument should be upgraded to an affirmative procedure, the Minister may either accept or reject the recommendation, and if rejected give a written statement explaining why;
  • any instruments recommended for upgrade will be listed online.

What are negative instruments?

Negative instruments are made by a Minister before they are laid before Parliament, and they come into force generally 21 days after being laid.

To prevent a negative instrument coming into force or remaining in force, a motion to annul it has to be agreed by the Parliament in the Chamber no later than 40 days after the instrument was laid. If no such motion is made, the instrument automatically becomes law.

This process is different to the affirmative procedure where an instrument will usually first be presented in draft format and will not come into force until it has been approve by Parliament.

The current proposed negative statutory instruments relevant to health, safety and environmental legislation are the:

Published statutory instruments

As time goes on, the negative instruments will be laid before Parliament and then passed into law. The following list shows the confirmed statutory instruments that will come into force on exit day:

  • Vehicle Drivers (Certificates of Professional Competence) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1004;
  • Timber and Timber Products and FLEGT (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1025;
  • Seal Products (Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1034;
  • Feed-in Tariffs and Contracts for Difference (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1092;
  • Electricity (Guarantees of Origin of Electricity Produced from Renewable Energy Sources) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1093;
  • Merchant Shipping (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of Carbon Dioxide Emissions) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1388;
  • Animal By-Products and Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (England) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1120;
  • Rail Passengers’ Rights and Obligations (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 SI 2018/1165;
  • Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and Safety at Work) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1202;
  • Merchant Shipping (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendments etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1221;
  • Environmental Assessments and Miscellaneous Planning (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1232;
  • Planning (Hazardous Substances and Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1234;
  • Planning (Environmental Assessments and Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) (Northern Ireland) Regulations SI 2018/1235;
  • Ionising Radiation (Basic Safety Standards) (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1278;
  • Electricity and Gas (Powers to Make Subordinate Legislation) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1286;
  • Pipe-lines, Petroleum, Electricity Works and Oil Stocking (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1325;
  • CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1336;
  • INSPIRE (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1338;
  • Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1342;
  • Health and Safety (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1370;
  • Health and Safety (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1377;
  • Marine Environment (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1399;
  • Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) and the Railways (Accident Investigation and Reporting) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1400;
  • Persistent Organic Pollutants (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1405;
  • Air Quality (Miscellaneous Amendment and Revocation of Retained Direct EU Legislation) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1407;
  • Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2018/1408;
  • Aquatic Animal Health and Alien Species in Aquaculture (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations SSI 2019/9;
  • Fisheries (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations SSI 2019/24;
  • Ionising Radiation (Environmental and Public Protection) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/24;
  • Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/25;
  • Environment (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment etc.) Regulations SSI 2019/26;
  • Drainage (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/31;
  • Water and Floods (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/32;
  • Renewables Obligation (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/35;
  • Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/39;
  • Marine Environment (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations SSI 2019/55;
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations SSI 2019/57;
  • Air Quality (Amendment of Domestic Regulations) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/74;
  • Town and Country Planning and Electricity Works (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations SSI 2019/80;
  • Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations SSI 2019/84;
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (Amendment) (England) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/88;
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/90;
  • Animal By-Products and Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Wales) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/94;
  • Control of Mercury (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/96;
  • INSPIRE (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations SSI 2019/103;
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/107;
  • Pesticides (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/118;
  • Water (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/112;
  • Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations SSI 2019/113;
  • Radioactive Contaminated Land (Modification of Enactments) (Wales) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/114;
  • Marketing of Seeds and Plant Propagating Material (Amendment) (England and Wales) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/131;
  • Export Control (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/137;
  • Transfrontier Shipment of Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/156;
  • Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies and Animal By-Products (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/170;
  • Waste (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations SI 2019/188;
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/190;
  • Nuclear Safeguards (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/196;
  • Metrology, Health and Safety and Product Safety (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/202;
  • Invasive Non-native Species (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/223;
  • Environmental Damage (Prevention and Remediation) (Wales) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/244;
  • Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes and the Environmental Impact Assessment (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Wales) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/245;
  • Environmental Noise (Wales) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/247;
  • Merchant Shipping (Recognised Organisations) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/270;
  • Waste (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/271;
  • Animal By-Products and Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/273;
  • Management of Extractive Waste (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations SSI 2019/273;
  • Environmental Liability etc. (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations SSI 2019/276;
  • Ship Recycling (Facilities and Requirements for Hazardous Materials on Ships) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/277;
  • Environmental Impact Assessment (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations SI 2019/279;
  • Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases and Ozone-Depleting Substances (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/281;
  • Environmental Protection (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/289;
  • Pesticides and Fertilisers (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/306;
  • Merchant Shipping and Other Transport (Environmental Protection) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/311;
  • Railways (Interoperability) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/345;
  • Fisheries and Marine Management (Amendment) (Wales) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/370;
  • Roads (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/377;
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (Deliberate Release and Transboundary Movement) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Wales) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/379;
  • Air Quality Standards (Wales) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/390;
  • Waste (Wales) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/414;
  • Aquatic Animal Health and Alien Species in Aquaculture (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/451;
  • Aquatic Animal Health and Alien Species in Aquaculture (Amendment) (England and Wales) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/452;
  • Drivers’ Hours and Tachographs (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/453;
  • Town and Country Planning (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Wales) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/456;
  • Environment (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/458;
  • Flood and Water (Amendments) (England and Wales) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/460;
  • Construction Products (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/465;
  • Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/470;
  • Environment and Wildlife (Legislative Functions) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/473;
  • Road Vehicles and Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Type-Approval) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/490;
  • Railways (Access, Management and Licensing of Railway Undertakings) (Amendments etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/518;
  • Electricity and Gas etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/530;
  • Gas (Security of Supply and Network Codes) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/531;
  • Electricity Network Codes and Guidelines (Markets and Trading) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/532;
  • Electricity Network Codes and Guidelines (System Operation and Connection) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/533;
  • Electricity and Gas (Market Integrity and Transparency) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/534;
  • Employment Rights (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/535;
  • Employment Rights (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/537;
  • Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/539;
  • Storage of Carbon Dioxide (Amendment and Power to Modify) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/544;
  • Road Vehicle Emission Performance Standards (Cars and Vans) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/550;
  • Pesticides (Maximum Residue Levels) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/557;
  • Environment (Miscellaneous Amendments and Revocations) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/559;
  • Floods and Water (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/558;
  • Shipments of Radioactive Substances (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/571;
  • Conservation of Habitats and Species (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/579;
  • Aquatic Animal Health and Alien Species in Aquaculture (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/581;
  • Conservation (Natural Habitats, etc.) (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/582;
  • Ozone-Depleting Substances and Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/583;
  • Environment (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/584;
  • International Waste Shipments (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/590;
  • Drivers’ Hours and Tachographs (Amendment) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations SI 2019/596;
  • Fertilisers and Ammonium Nitrate Material (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/601;
  • Waste (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/620;
  • European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (Consequential Modifications and Repeals and Revocations) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/628;
  • Merchant Shipping (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/630;
  • Aviation Noise (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/643;
  • Road Vehicles and Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Type-Approval) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/648;
  • Detergents (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/672;
  • Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/696;
  • Railway (Licensing of Railway Undertakings) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/700;
  • Licensing of Operators and International Road Haulage (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/708;
  • Common Agricultural Policy and Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/733;
  • REACH etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/758;
  • Animal Health, Seed Potatoes and Food (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/962;
  • Aviation Safety (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations SI 2019/1098;
  • Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/1101;
  • Electricity Network Codes and Guidelines (System Operation and Connection) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) (No. 2) Regulations SI 2019/1104;
  • REACH etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) (No. 3) Regulations SI 2019/1144;
  • Animal Health, Invasive Alien Species, Plant Breeders’ Rights and Seeds (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/1220;
  • Animal Health and Genetically Modified Organisms (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations SI 2019/1229.

We will keep this page updated with all the latest developments and proposed negative statutory instruments so you can keep track of any upcoming changes.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published new guidance on how it deals with reports of work-related stress.

HSE said it was redefining its operational guidance to establish a consistent approach to handling complaints of stress at work, because many of the concerns raised to the regulator were outside of its remit and "more relevant" to other regulators.

Cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety rose by 13%, to 1,800 per 100,000 workers in the 12 months to April 2018, compared with 2016-17 when the condition became the most common work-related illness for the first time, overtaking musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

The number of working days lost to stress, depression and anxiety increased by 23% last year, rising from 12.5 million in 2016-17 to 15.4 in 2017-18. This is equal to an average of 25.8 days per case.

HSE will consider investigating concerns about work-related stress where:

  • there is evidence that a number of staff are currently experiencing work-related stress or stress-related ill health, so it is not an individual case, but;
  • HSE is not the appropriate body to investigate concerns solely related to individual case of bullying or harassment, but may consider this if there is evidence of a wider organisational failing, and;
  • HSE would expect concerns about work-related stress to have been raised already with the employer, and for the employer to have been given sufficient time to respond accordingly.

However the guidance states "HSE does not seek to apply the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) where there is other more specific legislation or a more appropriate regulator".

"Cases of bullying and harassment would more commonly be dealt with as issues of discipline eg breaches of policies on expected behaviours, discrimination, victimisation or equality".

HSE Chair, Martin Temple, has maintained that stress would not become reportable under RIDDOR.

Duncan Spencer, head of advice and practice at IOSH, is mindful that although mental illness can be caused by work, it's often a mixture of home and work that causes stress. He stated that HSE has no jurisdiction over domestic risk, "so it's difficult to enforce when someone suffers. If it is hard to define whether an emotional hazard is created at work or at home, how can it be included under RIDDOR?".

Nevertheless he added that HSE still needs to step up and do more "in looking at how organisations either prevent emotional hazards or recognise their causes early so mitigations can be put in place".

"This is so much more tricky to achieve when anyone's mental health is a pendulum on a sliding scale from healthy, to coping, to struggling and then ill health. Being preventative means we have to find applications at the coping stage, when existing popular controls kick in".

“More than this, we need to look for emotional mitigations, rational and more typical controls such as policy, procedure and process are not necessarily the most effective. The HSE needs to start to analyse and enforce on organisations if they have inadequate preventative measures in place. After all, mental harm from emotional hazard does fall under the HSWA".

For more information on this subject, see:

The Company Masher Brothers Limited was sentenced after a trainee worker suffered life-changing injuries, when his hand was caught in a rip saw whilst working at the company's site. 

Westminster Magistrates' Court heard how on 20 February 2018, a 20-year-old employee was working on a rip saw, alongside a colleague at the company's site in Lewisham, London, being shown how to cut timber for beading. The worker and his colleague were using the rip saw to split lengths of timber - set up so one of the two pushed the timber onto the saw, and the other pulled it from the other side. As the wood was fed into the machine, it pulled his hand in with the wood, which caused severe laceration to his right hand.

The injury sustained meant he lost the first finger on his right hand, along with part of his thumb. He has since lost function in this hand and cannot straighten his remaining fingers. 

An investigation undertaken by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that there were no risk assessments or method statements for the machinery in the joinery workshop. On top of this, there were inadequate measures in place to prevent access to dangerous parts of various machinery inside the workshop  - the adjustable top guard sitting over the rip saw blade was stuck in a raised position, and thus was not protecting the blade at all. To add, the investigation also found that Masher Brothers Limited did not provide adequate training to its employees, about how to use the machinery, and that the member of staff that was responsible for the training of the injured person himself, had not received any training throughout the 30 years he had been at the company. 

Masher Brothers Limited of New Cross, in London, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 - as a result, the company was fined £50,000 and ordered to pay £8,005.44 in costs. 

Commenting after the hearing, HSE inspector Sarah Whittle has said, "No safe system of work existed at the time of the incident. Those in control of work have a responsibility to devise safe methods of working, and to provide the necessary information, instruction and training to their workers in their safe system of working."

Adding that, "If a suitable safe system of work had been in place prior to this incident, the life changing injuries the employee suffered could have been prevented."

Celsa Manufacturing (UK) Ltd, a steel company in Cardiff, has been fined following an explosion that killed two workers and seriously injured another - at the Celsa Steelworks site in Cardiff.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has found that the explosion would have came without warning to the employees, Peter O'Brien and Mark Sim, who both died at the company's Rod and Bar Mill. Another employee, Darren Wood also suffered serious injuries. Cardiff Crown Court heard how on 18 November 2015, the electrical engineer Peter, who was 51 years old, was working with Mark, the mechanical engineer, in the basement of the site. They were both busy working on an accumulator vessel when it exploded. 

The HSE's investigation found that a flammable atmosphere had developed within the accumulator, as a result of the draining of the hydraulic lubrication oil - the process of manually draining hydraulic lubrication oil is known as a 'blow down', and has developed as a local custom and practice among the employees of the Company - this procedure was not fully understood or consistently carried out by the employees, this exposed them to the risk of the explosion. 

Celsa Manufacturing (UK) Ltd, of Castle Works, at East Moors Road Cardiff, pleaded guilty to breaching the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations SI 1999/3242 - as a result the company was fined £1.8 million, and ordered to pay costs of £145,771.85. 

Commenting after the hearing, HSE inspector Lee Schilling has said, "This incident, which had devastating consequences for all of those involved, was entirely preventable. The company failed to assess the risks of the maintenance work and identify suitable control measures to prevent an explosion."

Robin Hood Energy, Nottingham city council's energy supplier, has failed to pass on the £9.5 million in renewable energy subsidies after collecting them from customers through their bills. 

The supplier has already claimed this sum from its customers in order to support renewable energy projects, but in the end, missed their deadline to pay Ofgem, the industry regulator, last month. They have said that the troubled energy supplier could have its energy license revoked if they fail to pay by the end of October. In total, four of the energy suppliers could lose their license if they don't pay a total of £14.7 million to the government's renewable support scheme, including:

  • Delta Gas and Power;
  • Gnergy;
  • Toto Energy;
  • and Robin Hood.

Mary Starks, the executive director of Ofgem, has said that it is "unacceptable" for suppliers to ignore these renewable energy payments, and warned that suppliers, "must meet their obligations, or pay the consequences". This could mean losing their licenses. The Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy, has said that if the bills are failed to be picked up, then it would be consumers who had to suffer the increase in prices. 

This is not a new problem. Last year, less than half of the initial unpaid renewables obligation was ever paid back. Energy suppliers should not be allowed to build up these levels of debt in the first place,” she has said.

They have asked for the government to develop legislation so that they could bring in companies to make these industry payments more regular. Adding that, "This would limit the cost to customers when suppliers fail to pay or exit the market."

Energy suppliers are being hit with rising costs and a governmental cap on energy prices, which are to fall from the 1st October from an average of £1,254 for gas, and £1,179 in electricity. This is among financial losses in the company, and fears of its collapse. Robin Hood itself has made consecutive losses through the recent years, only receiving a positive gain after getting a loan from Nottingham. 

In preparation for Storm Lorenzo, on Thursday Evening, workers have been asked to pay particular attention to the possibilities of falling trees. With winds expected of up to 120 kph in the forecast for Ireland, on the 3 October, the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is warning that dangers can linger long after the passing of the storm, in the event of this weather, along with the chainsaws. There is an orange weather warning in place for:

  • Galway;
  • Mayo;
  • Clare;
  • Kerry;
  • Limerick. 

Many workers will be facing dangerous new hazards, in areas such as construction, storm repair, farming and transportation. Sadly, during Storm Ophelia, while cutting and clearing windblown trees, there was still the loss of two lives.

Mark Cullen, the HSA Assistant Chief Executive, has said, "Many owners of chainsaws only use them occasionally and may lack the training, experience and knowledge required for certain tasks. As most trees are still in full leaf, there is a high risk that there will be a significant number of fallen trees and branches as a result of the high winds. Windblown trees are particularly dangerous and unpredictable and should only be dealt with by competent and experienced chainsaw operator," whilst urging workers to take extra caution, an to leave the use of chainsaws to the experts. 

They have released the following guidance for three various sectors, Working at Height, Trees and Agriculture.


The most common cause of fatalities in clearing fallen trees and branches using chainsaws arises from the high risk of being struck by falling trees or branches during clean-up operations. Therefore, the following rules shall apply in relation to trees:

  • only those with appropriate training in the use of chainsaws should be the ones operating chainsaws;
  • never work on your own;
  • ensure that bystanders are at a safe distance from the cutting activities;
  • wear suitable head and faceguard protection;
  • wear a high visibility jacket and protective clothing;
  • do not walk, or work under unstable windblown trees;
  • tell somebody your estimated time fo return.

The HSA has advised anyone who encounters fallen trees not to try to clear or fell them. They should instead contact their local authority, who have trained expert crews with specialist equipment in order to deal with it. 

Working at Height

Any of the work at height, such as repair of overhead lines, or the roofs of farm buildings, should also be undertaken with extreme caution in mind. Repair on the roofs should only be done after the storm has passed, and a risk assessment has taken place. All of the work at height should be properly planned and organised, the correct equipment should also be used, with the help of only competent workers. 


Work activity in this sector will be severely stunted by the storm, and so the farmers should look to take lots of preparations for making their personal safety of paramount importance. Also, it is important to always have a fully charged mobile phone, and a torch - pathways to machinery and sheds should be cleared to reduce the risk of slips and falls. 

Are you wondering why we're discussing matters in the Republic of Ireland? Watch this space...

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