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APPROVED CODE ON SAFETY MANAGEMENT TO BE WITHDRAWN

Government review of approved codes moves towards action phase

HSE has launched a consultation on proposals to review HSE Approved Codes of Practice (ACOPs) as recommended by Professor Löfstedt’s independent review of health and safety legislation.

The proposals include withdrawal of the ACOP for the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. It also seeks views on a proposal to limit all ACOP documents to a maximum length of 32 pages. Interested parties are asked to respond to a number of specific questions.

Management ACOP to be replaced by updated existing guidance

The consultation document argues that the ACOP currently provides an explanation of the regulations, definitions and the principles to be applied in complying with the regulations. However, the “generic nature of the ACOP means that it is unable to offer the practical guidance”. 

It is therefore proposed to withdraw the ACOP and replace it with by “structured, well sign-posted guidance” including:

HSE suggest:

“this would provide comprehensive advice to businesses, particularly SMEs, and safety representatives on how to comply with the law in a way that is much more specific than the current ACOP. Much of this guidance already exists and any remaining advice currently provided by the ACOP would be carried across to these publications.”

Comment

Withdrawing the Management ACOP and formally replacing it with four + pieces of revised existing guidance does not read as a recipe for simplification or clarity.

In addition, the proposal to “carry across” any advice in the ACOP that is not in these existing guides may produce even greater complexity for businesses.

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