HSE consultation on Approved List of biological agents.
26th October 2017
Consultation on introduction of civil penalties for infringements of the “F” Gases Regulations
26th October 2017

October 2017 news letter


Dear Simplifi User,

Please find our October newsletter.

The Simplifi Team

New legislation

Environmental permitting and pollution

 SSI 2017/322. The Pollution Prevention and Control (Designation of Medium Combustion Plant Directive) (Scotland) Order 2017.  Comes into force 1st November.  This Order designates Directive 2015/215/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on the limitation of certain pollutants into the air from Medium Combustion Plants as a relevant directive for the purposes of paragraph 20 of Schedule 1 to the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999.


 SI 2017/943. The Fishing Vessels (Codes of Practice) Regulations 2017.  Coming into force 23rd October. These Regulations revise the certification regime applicable to United Kingdom fishing vessels, and non-United Kingdom fishing vessels operating in United Kingdom waters. The Codes of Practice deal with the safe operation, construction and equipping of fishing vessels. They implement Council Directive 93/103/EC of 23rd November 1993 concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for work on board fishing vessels and Council Directive 97/70/EC of 11th December 1997 setting up a harmonised safety regime for fishing vessels of twenty-four metres in length and over, as amended by Commission Directive 2002/35/EC.


Amending legislation


 WSI 2017/1024. The Unauthorised Deposit of Waste (Fixed Penalties) (Wales)Regulations 2017.  Comes into force 24th October. These Regulations insert a new section 33ZB into Part II (Waste on Land) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (c.43) to enable an authorised officer of a Welsh waste collection authority to issue a fixed penalty notice for contravention of section 33(1)(a) of the Act in the area of the authority.  Section 33ZB allows a Welsh waste collection authority to specify a fixed penalty of not less than £150 and not more than £400. If no amount is specified by the waste collection authority, the amount of the fixed penalty is £200.

 SR 2017/202. The Waste Management Licensing (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017. Comes into force 1st November. Amends Schedule 6 of Waste Management Licensing Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 (SR 2003/493).  Schedule 6 lists of offences.


SSI 2017/321. The Public and Private Water Supplies (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2017.  Comes into force 26th October.  Makes very minor amendments to Schedules 1 and 2 of The Public Supplies Amendment Regulations 2014 (SSI 2014/364) and Schedules 1, 3 and 4 of The Private Supplies Regulations (SSI 2017/282).

SR 2017/212. The Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2017.  Comes into force 27th October.  These Regulations supplement the Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 and revoke and replace the Water Supply Quality (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2007 (SR 2007/147). They also revoke and replace the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010 and the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015.



 SI 2017/942. The Energy Act 2016 (Commencement No. 4 and Transitory Provision) Regulations 2017.  Sections 30 to 36 of the Energy Act 2016, so far as they are not already in force, come into force on 21st October.


EU legislation

Nothing of relevance published during October


Eire legislation



Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs is consulting on ways to reduce litter and increase recycling / reuse of drinks containers, including deposit and reward and return schemes. Consultation closes 30th October. https://consult.defra.gov.uk/waste-and-recycling/call-for-evidence-drinks-containers/

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Ministry of Defence, and Health and Safety Executive are, in combination, consulting on how to transpose the emergency preparedness elements of the Basic Safety Standards Directive 2013 (BSSD 2013) into UK law. This consultation is relevant to those working with radiological material, in particular where an emergency as a result of that work might have an impact on the public. Consultation closes 17th November. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/revised-requirements-for-radiological-protection-emergency-preparedness-and-response

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, The Welsh Government, The Scottish Government, and The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Northern Ireland) are, in combination, seeking views on the proposals for implementing the requirements of the 2013 Euratom Basic Safety Standards Directive (2013/59/EURATOM) in relation to planned and existing public exposure situations and the justification of practices involving ionising radiation.  The Directive lays down safety standards for protecting against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation. Consultation closes 15th November. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/revised-requirements-for-radiological-protection-regulation-of-public-exposures-and-the-justification-of-practices

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is consulting on plans to introduce a support programme to increase industry confidence in identifying and investing in opportunities for recovering and reusing waste heat from industrial processes and increase the deployment of recoverable heat technologies in industry. The purpose of this consultation is to:

  • test the proposed design of the Industrial Heat Recovery Support Programme (IHRS)
  • gather additional evidence on the enablers and barriers to recovering industrial waste heat, to ensure the scheme is appropriately designed and maximises value for money
  • start to identify a potential pipeline of projects from across industry sectors

Consultation closes 4th January 2018. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/industrial-heat-recovery-support-programme

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is consulting on proposals for Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting within the Companies Act 2006 business reporting framework. This consultation is asking for views on:

  • mandatory annual reporting and disclosure of energy and carbon information through Company Accounts
  • who these requirements should apply to
  • reporting of cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities, such as those identified through ESOS audits, and action taken on these
  • complementary disclosures
  • electronic reporting

Consultation closes 4th January 2018. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/streamlined-energy-and-carbon-reporting


Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs is seeking views on whether a WEEE compliance fee should be set for 2017.  They also want views on two proposals for managing this year’s fee.  Consultation closes 1st Decemberhttps://consult.defra.gov.uk/environmental-quality/weee-compliance-2017/


Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs is consulting on plans to amend the UK’s 2013 regulations for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). The changes will include:

  • introducing “Open Scope” requirements, which extends the regulations to all electrical and electronic equipment unless specifically exempt
  • making membership to the Producer Balancing Scheme compulsory
  • changing how producer fees are allocated in the UK

Consultation closes 8th December. https://consult.defra.gov.uk/environmental-quality/weee-regulations-amendments/


Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is consulting on implementing the European Union’s new sustainability requirements for bioliquids used for electricity generation under the Renewables Obligations for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  The consultation document also sets out new definitions for wastes and residues that apply to bioliquids, and solid and gaseous biomass. Consultation closes 13th November.  https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/new-rules-for-bioliquids-wastes-and-residues-under-the-renewables-obligation


Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs is consulting on the implementation of the requirements of EU Regulation 2017/852 on Mercury, which will be contained within the Control of Mercury (Enforcement) Regulations 2017.  Consultation closes 21st November. https://consult.defra.gov.uk/environmental-quality/control-of-mercury-enforcement-regulations-2017/

The HSE is consulting on revisions to the Approved List of biological agents.  Consultation closes 31st December.  The Approved List of Biological Agents classifies biological agents hazardous to humans into hazard groups (HG). The Approved List had its last significant revision in 2013. Aspects under consideration:

  • the classification and addition to the list of previously unlisted pathogens;
  • challenges to the hazard group classification for existing pathogens;
  • changes to pathogen names and taxonomy since 2013;
  • suggestions to improve the style and structure of the list.

Comments to be sent to lee.wilson@hse.gov.uk


Prosecutions of note

An oil storage company was fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £17,000 after contractors cut into a sealed pipe causing a tank to explode. The pipe, which was attached to a vessel, was being used as part of a waste oil recovery process. Flammable gases within the pipe ignited, resulting in the lid of the tank detaching due to pressure build up.  An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that the company was having difficulty with the waste oil recovery process which was foaming out of the vessel and filling its bund. Rather than dealing with the issue directly, a decision was taken to connect the vessel to an emergency relief dump tank to collect further foaming and this created a flammable atmosphere within the dump tank and connecting relief pipework.  Speaking after the hearing an HSE inspector said “Even though nobody was injured this incident could have been prevented if the work of the contractors had been controlled. The contractors were given a very basic induction and were not told about the process work being carried out and how it could impact on them. HSE has brought this prosecution because a failure took place that could have resulted in death or serious injury and we believe every person should be healthy and safe at work.”

A Northamptonshire recycling company and its two directors have been fined a total of £100,000 and ordered to pay £21,000 costs after being prosecuted for multiple safety failings.  In less than two years the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) served fifteen enforcement notices on the company and three on each of the two company directors. These covered a range of topics including work at height, work equipment and electrical matters. An investigation by HSE found employees were instructed to carry out work at height even after a Prohibition Notice was served and staff felt pressurised to complete their work even when they had raised concerns about their safety. The investigation also found fork lift trucks were left with broken lights and windscreen wipers and emergency stop buttons on machinery were marked as broken but not repaired over a long period of time.

An Essex-based road haulage firm has been fined £170,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,268 after an employee was crushed, in October 2015, between two articulated vehicles and subsequently died from his injuries.  His vehicle rolled forward out of control whilst he was coupling the HGV tractor unit to a trailer. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) into the incident found that the company had failed to implement safe systems of work or monitoring arrangements to ensure that its drivers were consistently undertaking coupling and uncoupling operations safely, in line with widely available industry guidance. As a result of this, a culture developed whereby its drivers were not always applying trailer parking brakes.

A manufacturer of large concrete panels and a plant hire company were fined a total of £3.8 Million and ordered to pay £27,844 costs following the death of an employee at a factory in Worksop, Nottinghamshire.  The deceased was working in the raised basket of a mobile elevating working platform (MEWP) removing the lifting attachments from the top of a concrete panel, which weighed about eleven tonnes and was stored on a transport pallet. The accident took place when the panel started to topple and struck the MEWP throwing him from the basket. It also caused a number of other concrete panels to topple, one of which fell onto him.  An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) confirmed that the frame used to secure the panel was not properly connected to the pallet, as a locking pin had not been correctly reinserted after the frame had previously been replaced, and there was no system of pre-use checks. The pallets were in a poor condition, with defects including missing support bearers and stabilising legs. Other failures included the storage of large freestanding concrete panels in the finishing area, which should have been secured in storage racks, and a lack of sufficient planning. The investigation also identified concerns with the wider systems for the storage of concrete panels at the site.

Three Teesside based companies were fined a total of £1.5 Million and ordered to pay £68,000 costs following the injury of an inspection engineer during a pressure test. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecuting told the court, that a valve on a pressure test rig was pressurised above the safe working limit and failed, causing the hose and metal fitting assembly to whip round, striking the injured man on the right leg, causing serious compound fractures.

A Brighton-based waste collection and recycling company has fined £500,000 and ordered to pay £6,000 costs after a worker died after being struck by a reversing telehandler. An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found the company had failed to address the management of large vehicle movements on its site and had not carried out an on-site health and safety inspection. In addition, the driver of the telehandler involved in the incident had not received any training in operating this vehicle.

The owner of a Wiltshire scrapyard and recycling company has been ordered to pay almost £2 million he made from running an illegal waste site in Melksham.  The original confiscation order was for £2.74 million, but this figure was reduced at Swindon Crown Court following an application to amend the earlier judgement under a legal clause known as the ‘Slip Rule.’  Defence lawyers successfully argued it had been wrong to include a figure for VAT when calculating how much their client had benefited from crime. They also alleged that, in preparing its prosecution, the Environment Agency had mistakenly included invoices for ferrous metals.  The defendant had been warned on several occasions about unlawful waste activities including the illegal disposal of waste on farmland and depositing and processing waste without an environmental permit.


In the news

The Nuclear Safeguards Bill 2017/19 passed its Second Reading on Monday 16 October 2017.  It has now entered the Committee stage which is scheduled to conclude by Thursday 16 November.  The UK will withdraw from Euratom in 2019 as a result of the decision to leave the EU and the Nuclear Safeguards Bill will ensure that the UK has the right regime in place for the ONR to regulate nuclear safeguards.