Who else wants the latest Health & Safety legislation low-down?

iStock_000008991875XSmallThis quick summary will get you up to speed with changes to the workplace first aid regulations, fit note guidance and proposed changes to ACoPs.

Workplace first aid

No doubt you’re aware that under the current First-Aid Regs the HSE must approve the training and qualifications of appointed first aiders. However, did you know that following recommendations from the Löfsted review this will soon be a thing of the past? Changes due this October remove the current approval process, which according to the HSE, will “give businesses greater flexibility to choose a training provider and first aid training that is right for their work place, and based on their individual business needs.”

The HSE has published draft guidance ahead of these regulatory changes, remember though, until the law changes in October the existing legislation applies. Any comments or feedback you have on the draft guidance can be sent to firstaidconsultation@hse.gsi.gov.uk


Fit note guidance

When it comes to fit notes, latest evidence shows that:
• Employers wanted doctors to be able to use the ‘may be fit for work’ option more and more details on their employee’s functional capabilities
• Patients found it helped facilitate a return to work
• GPs found they help facilitate a phased return to work.

Drawing on these findings the Government has issued improved and updated fit note guidance, which amongst other things clarifies that the fit note gives information on someone’s general fitness for work, rather than for a particular job.


The fit note guidance also includes:
• An improved question and answer section based on common queries
• An explanation about how a fit note shows whether a patient is expected to be fit for work when the note expires
• Suggestions for patients and employers about possible workplace changes that would be in line with the fit note advice
• New information about the computer generated fit note, which was rolled out last year.

Proposed changes to ACOPs

ACoPs are not law, but if their advice is followed appropriately you can be sure that you are complying with the law. Therefore it’s worth keeping up with upcoming changes.

Revised drafts of the ACOPs Workplace health, safety and welfare regulations (L24) and Safety in the installation and use of gas systems and appliances (L56) have been developed. Available online, they are now subject to consultation until 30 July 2013.

Next in line for consultation following revised content is ACoPs on Dangerous Substances and Expolsive Atmosphere Regulations (DSEAR), Control of Substances Hazardous to health (CoSHH), legionella and asbestos.

The HSE says the changes proposed to the ACoPs will make it easier for employers to understand and meet their legal obligations.

Click here for consultative documents and draft versions of revised ACoPs.

These legislative updates are courtesy of RoSPA’s Occupational Safety & Health Journal. An excellent source of safety news and views, OSH Journal is available free of charge to RoSPA Members, or via subscription.


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