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Exempting From H&S Safety Law Proposed

HSE invites views on proposed definitions of those self-employed people who will continue to have duties under health and safety law.

Under current proposals, self-employed persons will be exempt from Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA) except those undertaking activities on a prescribed list.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has launched an online consultation that explains the prescribed activities, as well as seeking views on the proposed definitions. The consultation will run for eight weeks, closing on 31 August and responses will be analysed once it is closed.

Those activities that will not be included in the revision will be where there is already a high rate of fatalities and injuries, risks to the public, or where European Union obligations retain the general duty on self-employed persons, e.g. at temporary or mobile construction sites.

“We are keen to hear from self-employed people who carry out these prescribed activities,” said Sarah Wadham, HSE. “Health and safety law will still apply to them and we need to ensure that legal definitions are clear and easy for them to understand. We also want to provide clear health and safety guidance to all self-employed workers in an accessible way. Feedback from this consultation will be invaluable in helping us do this.”

The proposed changes are still subject to parliamentary clearance, and if approved, are likely to come into effect in 2015.

For further information, visit the website: www.hse.gov.uk

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