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Have your say with HSE review

Have your say with HSE review

27 July 2012 Email this article

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has opened a three-month consultation on proposals for the revision, consolidation or withdrawal of its Approved Codes of Practice (ACOPs).

The review is part of HSE's work to make it easier for businesses and other users to understand what they can do to comply with health and safety law, following recommendations made in Professor Löfstedt's independent review of health and safety legislation.

Professor Löfstedt reported that the principles of ACOPs were supported by a range of organisations who saw them as forming a key link between goal setting legislation and guidance. However it was felt they could be improved to make it easier for employers to understand and meet their legal obligations and so reduce the risks of over-compliance.

Consultees have until 14 September to submit their views on proposals to revise, consolidate or withdraw of 15 ACOPs and on minor revisions, or recommendations for no change, to a further 15 ACOPs.

There is also a proposal to withdraw the ACOP for the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and replace it with a suite of more specific, updated guidance. The consultation also asks if all ACOP documents should be limited to 32 pages, except in exceptional circumstances.

ACOPs provide practical guidance on complying with the general duties of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) or the requirements of goal-setting regulations.  They cover a wide range of industries and workplaces and are mostly targeted towards high risk activities.

Legal responsibilities to protect workers' health and safety will not be altered by any changes to ACOPs.

Laurence Monaghan, Consultation Manager, said:

"ACOPs have been recognised as important publications for helping businesses manage the risks from their work activities. Through the review we aim to update and improve our ACOPS to make it quicker and easier for employers and other users to understand what can be done to comply with health and safety law."

The consultation is available online at: www.hse.gov.uk/consult/condocs/cd241.htm