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Legal updates to health and safety

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BY Douglas Cameron
Health & Safety

In recent weeks there have been a series of updates to older regulations, and several new regulations introduced as we approach the Brexit deadline, and in the wake of heightened fire awareness.

Amendment Housing (Scotland) Act 1987, new legislation requiring all social housing homes have smoke alarms installed in the room used for general daytime living and in circulation spaces, and a heat alarm in kitchen. A carbon monoxide detector will also be required in homes with gas appliance. Inception date has not been announced and a two year compliance time period is expected.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 require private rented sector landlords to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties. A recent consultation on the effectiveness of the regulations, did not indicate any reason to change the regulations.

Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 made under section 7 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 in order to address any potential failures of EU law to operate effectively and other deficiencies arising from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2018, (April 2018), changes include:

  • landlords must keep gas safe records until two further checks e.g. three years of records
  • landlords may have arrange new safety certification up to two months before expiry date
  • landlords must keep records relating to equipment removed, for a period of two years
  • landlords permitted a two months delayed gas safety check to bring appliances to the same inspection date;
  • the regulations do not apply to certain gas compression installations downstream of isolation valves; and
  • where an engineer is not able to examine the operating pressure or heat input of an appliance, the engineer must examine combustion performance.

Community Drivers’ Hours Offences (Enforcement) Regulations 2018, police and DVSA examiners will be able to issue fixed penalty offers to commercial drivers not only for offences committed on the occasion of the roadside stop, but earlier offences committed in the 28-days prior to the day of the stop.

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