In the News
REACH after BREXIT
HSE announce that subject to conclusion and ratification of the draft Withdrawal Agreement, an implementation period will start on 30 March 2019 and last until 31 December 2020. During the implementation period and subject to finalisation of the Withdrawal Agreement:Registrations, approvals, authorisations and classifications in place before March 2019 will continue to be valid during the implementation period in the same way that they are now. REACH will continue to apply to the UK during the implementation period. The process for registering new chemicals under REACH during the implementation period will remain the same as it is now, which will require UK companies to register with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). During the implementation period, the UK will recognise all new registrations, approvals, authorisations and classifications granted by the EU. During the implementation period, we expect that HSE will not be able to act as a ‘leading authority’ to conduct certain assessments under the Plant Protection Products, Biocides and REACH regulations. We will work with affected businesses to minimise disruption and delay to their ongoing assessments. UK-based businesses will have the same rights during the implementation period as EU-based businesses to have their cases accepted and processed by ‘leading authorities’ based in other EU member states. HSE will continue to process product applications under the Biocidal and Plant Protection Products Regulation for the UK market under the national authorisation route during the implementation period. Any applications will be considered against the current rules and standards.
HSE report that they have withdrawn five of their Diving Information Sheets (DVIS). These are: Sheet 1; General diving hazards, Sheet 2; Diving system winches, Sheet 3; Breathing gas management, Sheet 4; Compression chambers and Sheet 6; Maintenance of diving bell hoist ropes. DVIS Number 5, 7, 9, have been significantly updated in consultation with industry. DVIS 12, 13, 14, incorporate minor updates to align with the current version of the ACoPs. DVIS 11; Diving cylinders (Guidance on their manufacture, inspection and carriage) is currently under review.
The Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) of the European Chemicals Agency has proposed new occupational exposure limits for benzene, nickel and its compounds and acrylonitrile. https://echa.europa.eu/-/committee-for-risk-assessment-recommends-an-occupational-exposure-limit-for-benzene. Benzene is a genotoxic carcinogen, known to cause leukaemia. The proposed OEL of 0.05 parts per million will protect workers from leukaemia as well as other adverse health effects. RAC also proposed an OEL of 0.45 parts per million for acrylonitrile. For nickel and its compounds, it proposed OELs of 0.005 mg/m3 for respirable dust and 0.03 mg/m3 for inhalable dust.