Dear Simplifi User,
Questions are often asked at this time of year about what the law says on minimum temperatures in the workplace. Temperatures in the indoor workplace are covered by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (SI 1992/3004), which place a legal obligation on employers to provide a ‘reasonable’ temperature in the workplace. The associated Approved Code of Practice – http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l24.htm – suggests that the minimum temperature in a workplace should normally be at least 16o C. If the work involves rigorous physical effort, the temperature should be at least 13o C.
These temperatures are not absolute legal requirements and an employer has a duty to determine what “reasonable comfort” will be in the particular circumstances. In addition to the Workplace Regulations, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/3242) require employers to make a suitable assessment of the risks to the health and safety of their employees, and take action where necessary and where reasonably practicable. The temperature of the workplace is one of the potential hazards that employers should address to meet their legal obligations.
While there is no specific legislation, employers should also consider hazards associated with outdoor work where it occurs. The impact of adverse weather, not just cold, can impact on an individual’s effectiveness and this may not be readily managed using just engineering controls. Some of the most effective ways of managing these hazards are to introduce some simple administrative controls. These include:
HSE have published guidance to companies which supply or purchase substances, mixtures or articles to and from the EU/EEA and the UK in the case of a “no-deal” Brexit occurring. They state that in a “no-deal” scenario, the UK and the EU regulatory agencies would operate independently from each other. They add that in order to maintain or gain access to both markets, companies will need to ensure that the substances, or substances within a mixture or article, are registered separately with both agencies (ECHA and the UK Agency, i.e. the HSE). http://www.hse.gov.uk/brexit/reach.htm
SI 2019/40. The Plant Health (Ips typographus) (England) Order 2019. Comes into force 16th January. This Order introduces specific measures for the control of infestations of Ips typographus (Heer) (the larger eight-toothed spruce bark beetle) which is a serious pest of conifer trees.
SI 2018/1399. The Marine Environment (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. Comes into force on Brexit day. Amends legislation in the field of the marine environment and, in particular, marine strategy. Amended legislation is:
Energy and renewables.
SI 2019/35. The Renewables Obligation (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. Comes into force on Brexit day. These Regulations make amendments to
Following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, permitted termination events will no longer be relevant.
Environmental permitting and pollution.
I 2019/24. The Ionising Radiation (Environmental and Public Protection) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. Comes into force on Brexit day. These Regulations make amendments to:
SI 2019/25. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. Comes into force on Brexit day. These Regulations make amendments to legislation which implements, in part, Council Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment. The legislation amended is:
SI 2019/39. The Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. Comes into force on Brexit day. These Regulations make amendments to the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/1154). The amendment adds a new Schedule 1A which details modifications to EU Directives and their application. Directives modified are:
SI 2019/74. The Air Quality (Amendment of Domestic Regulations) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. Comes into force on Brexit day. These Regulations amend The Air Quality Standards Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/1001). They also amend:
SI 2019/90. The Genetically Modified Organisms (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. Comes into force on Brexit day. These Regulations amend the Genetically Modified Organisms (Risk Assessment) (Records and Exemptions) Regulations 1996 (SI 1996/1106) to redress provisions in that Regulation which are out of date, specifically relating to devolution issues in risk assessment and record-keeping.
SR 2018/188. The Pesticides, Genetically Modified Organisms and Fertilisers (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2018. Comes into force 7th January. The Regulations make miscellaneous minor amendments to legislation relating to pesticides, fertilisers, seed marketing, nitrates and genetically modified organisms, updating out of date references. The purpose of these Regulations is to ensure that references are correct and, in particular, that the amended provisions will operate effectively on Brexit day.
SR 2018/215. The Air Quality (Amendment, etc.) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2018. Comes into force 17th January. These Regulations make minor amendments to The Environmental Protection (Disposal of Polychlorinated Biphenyls and other Dangerous Substances) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 (SR 2000/232) and The Air Quality Standards Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 (SR 2010/188).
WSI 2019/50. The Smoke Control Areas (Authorised Fuels) (Wales) Regulations 2019. Comes into force 6th February. These Regulations revoke and replace with amendments the Smoke Control Areas (Authorised Fuels) (Wales) Regulations 2017 (WSI 2017/421).
SI 2018/1388. The Merchant Shipping (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of Carbon Dioxide Emissions) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. Comes into force on Brexit day. These Regulations make minor amendments to The Merchant Shipping (Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of Carbon Dioxide Emissions) and the Port State Control (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (SI 2017/825).
SI 2018/1400. The Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) and the Railways (Accident Investigation and Reporting) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018. Comes into force on Brexit day. These regulations amend the Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/1743) and Railways (Accident Investigation and Reporting) Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/1992).
SI 2019/12. The Infrastructure Planning (Water Resources) (England) Order 2019. Comes into force 9th January. This Order amends the Planning Act 2008 (A 2008 c.29) in respect of nationally significant infrastructure projects (“NSIP”) in the field of water. It introduces a new category of NSIP, the construction or alteration of desalination plants. It amends the threshold of the existing category of NSIP, with respect to the capacity of dams or reservoirs, from those retaining ten million cubic metres to those containing thirty million cubic metres and adds a new qualifying characteristic of “deployable output” .
DEFRA is consulting on ways to improve management of water in the environment. Consultation closes 12th March. This consultation sets out our proposals for better long-term planning for water resources and drainage and modernising water regulations. https://consult.defra.gov.uk/water/improving-management-of-water-in-the-environment/
Prosecutions of note.
A water utility company was fined £2m and ordered to pay £80,000 costs for causing “foreseeable and avoidable” pollution. Numerous failures in the management of a sewage pumping station operated by the company led to sewage created by two villages emptying into two brooks leading to the River Evenlode, a tributary of the River Thames, for up to twenty-four hours. The discharge resulted in a major fish kill and damage to other species. The court heard that there was a continuous failure to respond to and investigate the causes of alarm signals in the six weeks before the incident. In one case an alarm was deliberately deactivated during a night shift.
Two Derby based construction companies were fined a total of £120,000 and ordered to pay £58,000 costs after sub-contractors working under their control were exposed to asbestos fibres during school refurbishment work. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the principal contractor for the project, failed to effectively plan, manage and monitor the work to prevent the accidental removal of the asbestos containing tiles. They failed to effectively communicate information about the asbestos, leaving the storage room open without barriers or signage warning of asbestos. The work was not then suitably managed or monitored to ensure that nobody came into contact with the asbestos.