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HEAD PROTECTION AND TOWER CRANE REGS REPEALED

HSE stress that repealed construction laws leave safety untouched

The Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Repeals, Revocations and Amendments) Regulations 2013 came into force on 6 April 2013.

These Regulations remove thirteen measures that have “either been overtaken by more up to date Regulations, are redundant or do not deliver the intended benefits”. The measures removed include:

Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989

The Construction (Head Protection) Regulations have been revoked and the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations 1992 amended so that they apply to the provision and use of head protection on construction sites as well as to other forms of PPE.

HSE stress that although the regulations have changed, the level of legal protection has not. Head protection remains vital in protecting construction workers from head injuries. The necessity for safety helmets on construction sites remains and employers do not need to do anything differently to comply with the law. 

Construction union UCATT has reacted with “extreme dismay and anger” at the changes having argued against scrapping the regulations citing that since the Regulations were adopted the average number of construction workers dying as a result of a head injury has fallen from 48 a year to 14 a year. The number of non-fatal major head injuries had fallen from 165 a year to 135 a year.

Steve Murphy General Secretary of UCATT, said:

“Construction workers are being placed in danger by the scrapping of these regulations. Many construction companies will use the scrapping of the regulations as an excuse not to provide life-saving protective equipment.

It is highly distressing that the HSE is failing to take proactive measures to ensure that workers are not placed in danger. Hoping that the construction industry will send out a message is a complete abdication of the HSE’s responsibilities.”

Notification of Conventional Tower Crane Regulations 2010

HSE believe that revocation of the Notification of Conventional Tower Crane Regulations 2010 (including closure of the Tower Crane Register) will reduce the regulatory burden placed on the construction industry without reducing safety standards for workers and the public.

The regulator will “continue working with industry to improve tower crane safety standards, including work to find a way in which the industry can continue to reassure the public about tower crane safety“.

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