Whether you voted to leave or remain, none of us can hide. The ripples caused by Brexit are still expanding, and we don’t yet know what the full impact will be. As health and safety experts with nearly a decade’s experience across a broad range of industries, though, we are well placed to make some predictions about how Brexit will affect UK Health and Safety law.
In the words of Dad’s Army’s Lance Corporal Jones, ‘Don’t panic!’. Although many of our health and safety laws stem from EU directives, the UK had a great deal of input into those directives originally, so there is no reason to expect a widespread short term change.
Our main regulation, the Health and Safety at Work Act, predates our membership of the EU and the UK has a long and proud tradition of upholding standards and the welfare of individuals. Even if certain regulations change, the employer’s general duty of care to their employees will always remain.
According to a statement by the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management, an industry professional body, “Many EU health and safety and environmental directives have been transposed into UK law so currently nothing changes until the UK government puts in place mechanisms for further deregulation.”
The UK has an excellent safety record, and our standards are often a benchmark in developing countries, with approaches that are admired and imitated globally. In fact, separating ourselves from EU regulation could be an opportunity to review current regulations and strengthen our existing framework. The Health and Safety Executive, whose expertise is highly sought after globally, will obviously continue to monitor changes and additions to EU regulations, and is in a good position to be able to ‘cherry pick’ positive changes. Compliance ‘red tape’ could be relaxed, making life easier for small businesses.
If you would like to know more about how Brexit could affect health and safety in your business, visit our website at www.rhinosafety.co.uk. Rhino Safety, a health, safety, fire, risk and environmental consultancy based in Cheshire. We provide comprehensive services, including management and compliance, consulting, auditing and training, across a wide range of industries, so you are safe in our hands.
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