Magazine article Management Services

Regulating Higher Hazard Industries-HSE Seeks Views

Magazine article Management Services

Regulating Higher Hazard Industries-HSE Seeks Views

Article excerpt

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have just published a discussion document inviting views on its approach to the regulation of higher hazard industries.

The document Regulating higher hazards - exploring the issues is the latest in a series published by HSE to help increase public understanding of its approach, and to stimulate discussion. It sets out the four principles underpinning that approach, and illustrates them through a description of legal requirements in the offshore, railway, chemicals and nuclear industries.

David Eves, HSE's Deputy Director General, said: "Employers, workers and the public have the right to understand how we go about our job, and there is of course special interest in the higher hazard industries. Although the legal requirements vary in detail between industries, they are based on a common approach which we are setting out for public comment for the first time.

"We are not suggesting that a uniform legal framework would be appropriate, but we want to know what people think of our approach. When we have their views, well look again at the principles we follow, and see if we need to rethink aspects of them. Greater clarity should help achieve a common understanding of what is required by the law and to help us to work better together."

Operators in the industries considered are subject to certain additional duties over and above the general requirements of health and safety law. Most importantly, they must set out in advance a written statement - often called a safety case describing the hazards and risks associated with their operators, and measures to eliminate or control them. This must then be submitted to HSE. The detail of what is needed varies, because the risks are different and the requirements were introduced at different times.

The principles set out in the document explain the basis on which such regulations are applied, the additional requirements they place on operators, the general approach used to address the hazards and the safety regulator's role. …

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