May 2, 2019
Four Key Health & Safety Updates to be Aware of: Welding Fumes, PPE, HSE FFI Rates and HSE RIDDOR Online Portal
With Brexit continuing to dominate Parliament there are very few Health & Safety legislative changes for businesses to be aware of.
However, a number of changes to how existing legislation is interpreted have come into force in recent months.
Four key Health & Safety updates
1. Change in Enforcement Expectations for Mild Steel Welding Fume
With immediate effect, there is a strengthening of the HSE’s enforcement expectation for the control of exposure to all welding fume. This includes mild steel welding. This is because new evidence has found that general ventilation does not achieve the necessary control. Exposure to all welding fume, including mild steel welding fume, can cause lung cancer and possibly kidney cancer.
Consequently, The Health and Safety Executive have updated their guidance and issued a safety alert for the control of welding fumes.
Summary of Action Required
Businesses undertaking welding activities should provide effective engineering controls to control fume arising from those welding activities.
Consequently, all businesses undertaking welding activities in an enclosed area must provide Local Exhaust Ventilation. If there is still a residual risk from welding fumes, employers must supplement this with appropriate Respiratory Protective Equipment.
For more information you can read the safety alert on the HSE website here.
2. Updated Law on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The EU has updated the law on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
They have place increased duties on organisations involved in the production, importation and distribution of PPE.
Consequently, from 21 April 2019, it’s against the law for a supplier of PPE to sell equipment that doesn’t meet the European Union standards.
It’s also important to note that the regulations haven’t added any additional duties to the end users of PPE. Employers selecting and using PPE within their own organisation are covered by the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 which remain unaltered by this regulation.
However, if you’re involved in specifying, sourcing or purchasing PPE for use within your organisation you should ensure you select appropriate PPE which has been CE marked.
3. HSE Increases Fees for Intervention (FFI)
Businesses found to be in breach of health and safety law are required to pay for the time it takes to identify the breach and rectify it. This is known as the FFI. The HSE have increased their FFI hourly rate from £129 to £154 per hour.
In a statement, the HSE said this increase is partly due to the scheme operating at a deficit. In 2017-18 the HSE reported a £1.9m loss from running the FFI.
4. Change to HSE Online Portal for RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013)
The HSE’s online reporting portal has been updated. In the past, anyone submitting an online report received an email from the system with a copy of the report. However, this is no longer the case. Going forward employers must save a copy of their report for their own records prior to their submission to the HSE.
If you are a customer and have any questions about these Health & Safety updates please contact our Health and Safety Team on 0345 073 0240 (option 1).