The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) can help businesses avoid an accident at work compensation claims by providing appropriate, timely advice about workplace safety matters. To accomplish this, the HSE regularly updates the information on its website and in its brochures with relevant information to ensure that managing agents, landlords, employers and building owners are able to understand their legal obligations.
Recently, Professor Ragnar Löfstedt recommended that many health and safety Approved Codes of Practice (ACOPs) require updating and consolidating to reduce the likelihood of over-compliance. Accordingly, on November 18th, the HSE unveiled the updated Workplace Regulations ACOP, which relate to the Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations 1992.
The updates do not change the duty of care employers have towards their workforce or the types of thing that could cause them to be liable in an accident at work compensation claims. The new ACOP is relevant to almost every workplace, except for underground mines, building sites, and ships.
Chris Rowe, the spokesman for the HSE, said the organization is working hard to deliver high-quality advice to employers to ensure they know what they need to do to protect their workforce.
The revised and updated ACOP should support businesses in understanding regulatory requirements relating to a number of important issues, including washing facilities, toilets, seating, workstations, cleanliness, and temperature, he added.
All revisions to the ACOP have been through public consultation and have been agreed to by minister of state responsible for workplace health and safety and the HSE’s board.
Legislative changes preceding the revised ACOP
A number of legislative changes took place after the previous edition of the ACOP was published, and the revised ACOP takes these changes into account.
- Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Repeals, Revocations and Amendments) Regulations 2002
- Work at Height Regulations 2005
- Quarries Regulations 1999
- Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007
- Quarries Miscellaneous Health and Safety Provisions Regulations 1995
Some of the revisions to the ACOP include updates to include details of the Miscellaneous Amendments Regulations 2002, simplifications of the information about complying with Workplace Regulations, making guidance as relevant and up-to-date as possible, and removing any old information that has been superseded by new rules and regulations.
The new ACOP includes workplace safety regulations in full and provides employers with practical advice in complying with the law. Complying to the rules and guidance in the ACOP will go some way in demonstrating that an employer was not negligent towards their duty of care in accident at work compensation claims, and while the guidance is not legally required unless otherwise stated, prosecutions for breaches of health and safety law will consider whether or not the employer followed the code properly.
Following the updated ACOP will not merely help employers avoid prosecution and accident at work compensation claims. It will also enable them to improve the quality of their workplace, improve morale among their employees, and minimize the number of preventable workplace absences. Employers should familiarise themselves with the updated ACOP as soon as possible.
Saam Smith is an expert in employment law and has worked alongside personal injury solicitors Bolton to help hundreds of people receive accident at work compensation. She is constantly staying on top of relevant changes in the sector and specializes in industrial accident claims. She likes henna tattoos and fashion in her spare time.