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What’s New?

Summary

  • PPE Directive will be replaced by a Regulation - a number of types of protection (including hearing protection) will move categories
  • New safety standard for the design of low-level work platforms (LLWPs), also known as ‘podiums’ – PAS 250 - the standard sets out minimum safety and performance requirements for everyday low-level access products
  • The Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulations - the primary transitional period allowed for mixtures (preparations) ended on 1st June 2015
  • Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) 2002 - now covers substances that are corrosive to metals and gases under pressure
  • The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH) 2015 - contain some new or changed duties
  • International Machine Guarding Standard ISO 14120 - supersedes and replaces BS EN 953:1997+A1.

Changes to the PPE Directive

The PPE Directive was one of the first New Approach Directives. In order to reflect current technologies and processes for developing and bringing PPE to the market it is being updated. The draft version of the new Regulation has been approved by the European Commission and Parliament. The new regulations which are going to be law throughout Europe will then take several years to be phased in, so organisations have plenty of time to ensure they meet the requirements.

Key changes include:

  • PPE Directive will be replaced by a Regulation
  • A number of types of protection (including hearing protection) will move from category II (intermediate) to category III (complex)
  • There will be a requirement to supply a declaration of conformity with every item of PPE that is placed on the market
  • A five year certificate of validity is being suggested bringing the Regulation in line with similar European requirements such as the Medical Devices Directive.

New safety standard for the design of low-level work platforms (LLWPs), also known as ‘podiums’ – PAS 250

This standard has been developed in consultation with The Association of British Certification Bodies, The Health and Safety Executive, Hire Association and UK Contractors Group.

The PAS 250 standard sets out minimum safety and performance requirements for everyday low-level access products with one platform and side protection, for use by one person, with a maximum working platform height of under 2.5 metres.

The new PAS introduces a specific requirement for stability and resistance to overturning and covers materials, the design of the guardrails and access, the integrity of the mobility devices, the ability to fit toe-boards and requirements for labels and user guides.

The Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulations

The European Regulations (EC1272/2008) on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures – the CLP Regulations – came into force in all EU member states, including the UK, on 20th January 2010, and the primary transitional period allowed for mixtures (preparations) ended on 1st June 2015.

The CLP Regulations:

  • Adopt in the EU the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) on the classification and labelling of chemicals, so will be adhered to throughout the world
  • Apply to substances from 1st December 2010, and to mixtures (preparations) from 1st June 2015. However there is an extra transitional period for mixtures already labelled and packaged and therefore can be supplied until 1st June 2017
  • Have replaced the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2009 – CHIP – from 1st June 2015.

Although the CLP hazard pictograms are very similar to the CHIP hazard symbols, they have a new shape, new design and a new colour.

Changes to the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) 2002

As of June last year DSEAR now covers substances that are corrosive to metals and gases under pressure. It places a formal requirement on employers to assess the risks for substances if classified for these properties and put in place suitable control and mitigation measures.

The need to carry out a risk assessment, and have in place procedures for the safe use of chemicals not currently covered by DSEAR, is already necessary to meet the general requirements of the HSW Act 1974, and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Businesses already complying with these duties are therefore unlikely to need to take any additional action.

The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH) 2015

Although many duties will be familiar from the 1999 Regulations, the 2015 Regulations contain some new or changed duties including:

  • The list of substances covered by the Regulations has been updated and aligned to the CLP Regulation
  • There are transition arrangements for safety reports
  • For emergency planning, there is a new requirement for co-operation by designated authorities (Category 1 responders, as defined in the Civil Contingencies Act 2004) in tests of the external emergency plan
  • Stronger requirements for public information including a duty for lower-tier establishments to provide public information
  • The domino effects duty is broader, including a duty for members of a domino group to co-operate with neighbouring sites to share relevant information
  • Stronger requirements for the competent authority on inspection
  • Local authorities must now inform people likely to be affected following a major accident.

International Machine Guarding Standard ISO 14120

The international standard ISO 14120 (and BS EN ISO 14120:2014 in the UK), Safety of machinery – Guards – General requirements for the design, construction and selection of fixed and movable guards supersedes and replaces BS EN 953:1997+A1. Machine builders exporting outside the European Union are likely to benefit by only having to design and manufacture in compliance with one main guarding standard.

Key changes include:

  • Changes to fixings for fixed guards
  • Protective bonding of guards with electricity conductive alignment
  • The suitability of fixed and movable guards in relation to the frequency with which access is required
  • More stringent requirements for the validation/verification of machine guard designs.

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