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    MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS ACOP TO BE SCRAPPED

    HSE to proceed with withdrawal of risk assessment ACOP despite opposition

    In June 2012 HSE launched a consultation on proposals to review Approved Codes of Practice (ACOPs) as recommended by Professor Löfstedt’s review of health and safety legislation.

    The consultation included a proposal to withdraw the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR) ACOP and to replace it with guidance.

    The results of the consultation reveal that HSE plan to proceed with withdrawal of the MHSWR ACOP despite a majority of respondents (52%) objecting to the proposal.

    The objections raised by respondents fell into the following main areas:

    • Status – downgrading the information from ACOP  to ‘Guidance’ will reduce levels of compliance;
    • Accessibility – removal of the information from one place will reduce accessiblity; and
    • Confusion – change will erroneously suggest the law has changed and increase misunderstanding.

    Other ACOPs relevant to construction, including lifting equipment and confined spaces, were also involved in the consultation. Analysis of comments received and the HSE response have now been published.

    Scrapping code to be backed by HSE ‘communications handling’ plan

    HSE justify proceeding with withdrawal of MHSWR ACOP on the basis that there “has been no evidence submitted” to alter the proposed course of action, adding:

    “No new issues have been raised by the consultation responses. The negative impacts raised by the respondents will be addressed by the actions taken to replace the ACOP with the suite of guidance.

    A communications handling plan will be drawn up to ensure that the information/guidance provided by the ACOP will not be lost and will be covered by guidance which is easier to use.

    It will also be made clear that the legal requirements have not and are not changing; these changes will make the requirements easier to understand and therefore assist compliance.”

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