In Focus

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have updated their leaflet on managing upper limb disorders.

Revision 3 to INDG171, published late January 2020, is aimed at employers and offers practical advice on reducing the risks of upper limb disorders, which can affect the shoulders, arms, wrists, hands and fingers, as well as the neck.

It includes information on:

  • what upper limb disorders are;
  • their symptoms and causes;
  • how to manage the risks around them;
  • what employers can do to help their workers.

The revised version now includes a simple filter to help identify low-risk tasks which do not need further assessment.

Natural England have produced a new application form for a wild birds licence to kill, take or disturb to prevent disease or agricultural damage, for conservation or public health and safety.

This form can be used to control wild birds, including the great black-backed gull, lesser black-backed gull and herring gull, under the provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) general licences for specific birds (such as the ones for Canada geese, carrion crows or woodpigeons) do not cover those species due to their poor conservation status.

To control great black-backed gulls, lesser black-backed gulls and herring gulls, a person needs to complete an A08 form and an Integrated Management Plan template A47a and send them to Natural England, where they will determine whether to grant the licence or not, within 30 working days. 

The licence form requires a detailed description of the bird, site, issue with the bird(s) in question, as well as appropriate justification for applying for a licence and a method that will be used. Following Natural England's review of the application, they can grant a licence to:

  • disturb them;
  • kill them;
  • take them; or
  • use a prohibited method to control them.

The applications should be made before 15 March 2020 where possible.

Before submitting the form, the applicant should make sure the bird and/or circumstances in question are not covered by a general licence for birds.

For more information on this subject, see:

Manual handling guidance updated
Published: 06 Feb 2020

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance document INDG143: Manual handling at work: A brief guide has been updated.

The document is aimed at employers and explains the problems associated with manual handling, with guidance on how to deal with them.

It has been updated to Revision 4, and brings the risk assessment process in line with L23 - Manual handling, in order to help identify low-risk tasks.

As a result, it includes:

  • more information on the simple risk filters for lifting, lowering and carrying operations;
  • simplified advice on pushing and pulling;
  • a simple filter for manual handling when seated.

Brexit: what happens next?
Published: 24 Jan 2020

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020 at 11pm. Given that much of the legislation in the UK is either EU law that is directly applicable or UK domestic laws influenced by EU Directives, it is important to keep up-to-date about what might happen with the legislation after we leave the EU.

What happens with legislation after 31 January?

In short, nothing. Not yet anyway. The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 introduces an implementation period that will last until 11pm on 31 December 2020.

The implementation period is designed to give the UK time to reach a deal with the EU. During that period, the UK will continue as if it was a member of the EU, only UK representatives won't sit in the European Parliament.

This means that until 11pm on 31 December 2020, all EU legislation will continue to apply to the UK, including anything new that the EU publishes during that implementation period.

However, it is still recommended that companies prepare for a potential no-deal scenario and to evaluate how it may impact them.

What happens after 31 December?

Unfortunately, nobody knows yet what will happen. It depends entirely on the contents of any deal the UK manages to agree with the EU.

We'll be keeping a close eye on the situation and will provide applicable updates as soon as we have them.

What if a deal is not agreed on time?

If no deal is made, then a few things could happen with legislation in the UK:

  • all EU laws currently applicable to the UK will be adopted into the UK statute books as "retained" laws. The EU law will be retained exactly how it was immediately before the end of the implementation period;
  • the EU legislation and some UK legislation will have to be amended to remove references to the EU and EU regulatory bodies. If there is no deal, and our legislation, including retained laws, contain references to the EU it won't work correctly which could cause an issue. As such, there will be several amendments to legislation but very few fundamental changes are predicted.

As an extension to the implementation period has been ruled out, 31 December 2020 is the definite deadline for any deal to be made and for clarification about how the legislation will work in a post-EU UK.

However, as has been the case since the referendum back in 2016, it'll be a case of "watch this space".

Will anything change on Cedrec?

For the time being, no. All of the EU legislation on Cedrec is fully consolidated, and EU amendments published before 1 January 2021 will continue to be applied so that subscribers can be assured they have access to the legislation as it stands. New EU laws published before the end of the implementation period will also be added to Cedrec.

Those who have taken advantage of our register of legislation update service will continue to be updated on any changes to applicable laws. In terms of the registers themselves, nothing will change for the time being.

EU Exit Legislation

The UK Government have continued to publish EU Exit legislation that amends and corrects deficiencies in both UK legislation and EU legislation that will be retained in the UK.

These aim to ensure that legislation continues to operate effectively after the UK's transition period with the European Union ends. 

Initially much of this legislation was due to come into force on "exit day", 31 January 2020. However due to the UK being in a transition or implementation period with the EU until 31 December 2020, then the coming into force of this legislation has been delayed by the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020, to coincide with the end of this period.

This means that those pieces of legislation will instead come into force when the implementation phase is complete, or as legislation refers to it, on "IP completion day".

On Cedrec you may see that some legislation has pending amendments in the "Revocations and amendments" list that state the legislation will be amended by something on "IP completion day". For example:

"Revocations and amendments

These Regulations have been amended by the:

  • Environment (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment etc.) (No. 2) Regulations SSI 2019/436, on IP completion day."

This just means that the legislation will be amended by that EU Exit legislation, but not until IP completion day, which is currently 31 December 2020.

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSE NI) have produced an innovative step-by-step guide which aims to help employers in effectively managing work-related stress.

The guide is in the form of a Management Standards wheel which provides a framework for employers to effectively manage stress at work at an organisational level.

It identifies six key aspects of work:

  • work demands;
  • relationships;
  • change;
  • role;
  • control; and
  • support,

which, if not managed properly, can lead to excessive pressures in the workplace.

Work-related stress can affect anyone at any level of an organisation and is not confined to a particular job, sector or industry. That type of stress can be defined as an adverse reaction to excessive pressure or other types of demand placed upon a person at work. Our day-to-day work plays a vital role in promoting mental well-being. In addition to being a source of income, our work provides a sense of fulfilment and opportunities for social interaction.

Unfortunately, work can also have negative effects on our mental health, particularly in the form of stress. For employers, increased levels of stress can result in decreased productivity, absenteeism, presenteeism and high staff turnover.

Speaking about the pressures associated with work-related stress and launching the guide, HSE NI's Mental Well-being at Work Advisor, Claire Kelly said: "There are many good reasons for tackling stress in the workplace. There is convincing evidence that prolonged periods of stress, including work-related stress, have an adverse effect on health. I hope this innovative step-by-step guide will serve as a useful aid to employers as they begin to manage this significant workplace health hazard."

For more information on this subject, see:

The Health and Safety Executive has published a revised edition of EH40 on workplace exposure limits (WELs).

This latest edition of the guidance has been updated to include a list of new and revised WELs which were introduced by Directive (EU) 2017/2398 amending Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work.

The new edition contains new or revised entries for the following substances:

  • Hardwood dusts (including mixed dusts);
  • Chromium (VI) compounds;
  • Refractory ceramic fibres;
  • Respirable crystalline silica;
  • Vinyl chloride monomer;
  • Ethylene oxide;
  • 1,2-Epoxypropane;
  • Acrylamide;
  • 2-Nitropropane;
  • 0-Toluidine;
  • 1,3-Butadiene;
  • Hydrazine; and
  • Bromoethylene.

New skin notations have been added for the following substance:

  • Ethylene oxide.

The following substances required reductions to the existing WELs:

  • Hardwood dusts;
  • Chromium (VI) compounds;
  • Refractory ceramic fibres;
  • Vinyl chloride monomer;
  • Ethylene oxide;
  • 1,2-Epoxypropane;
  • Acrylamide;
  • 2-Nitropropane;
  • 0-Toluidine;
  • 1,3-Butadiene; and
  • Hydrazine.

For more information on this subject, see:

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