It has been a busy start to a new year and a new decade, so without any further ado, here is the First2HelpYou Monthly Safety And Security Round Up For January 2020.
Improving Building Standards
On the 20th January the UK Governments Housing Minister, Robert Jenrick, announced a series of measures intended to improve the safety and standards of buildings.
Speaking in the House Of Commons, the Housing Minister said:
“The government is committed to bringing about the biggest change in building safety for a generation.
Progress on improving building safety needs to move significantly faster to ensure people are safe in their homes and building owners are held to account.
That’s why today I’m announcing a major package of reforms, including establishing the Building Safety Regulator within the Health and Safety Executive to oversee the new regime and publishing consolidated guidance for building owners.
Unless swift progress is seen in the coming weeks, I will publicly name building owners where action to remediate unsafe ACM cladding has not started. There can be no more excuses for delay, I’m demanding immediate action.”
The measures introduced include a new Buildings Safety Regulator, to be created by The Health And Safety Executive and a further open consultation on the combustible cladding ban.
Safety & Security Round Up 2020 – The Coronavirus
You won’t have failed to notice the increasingly alarming news coming from China about the spread of the new flu variant, the Coronavirus.
While there have not been any reported cases in the UK yet, the virus is spreading and there have been confirmed cases in Germany and France.
It is a developing situation and each day we are finding out more and more about the spread of the virus.
The UK Government are now starting to evacuate British citizens in the affected areas of China, so if you or any employees have health and safety concerns we would recommend keeping up to date with any new developments.
The Guardian has live updates every minute of the day so that is a good place to start to find out more about the coronavirus.
We would also recommend keeping an eye on the government’s advice on their website here.
Health & Safety And Brexit?
Whether or not you think it is a good idea, the UK is set to start leaving the EU on the 31st of January.
There then will begin a series of trade discussions on what kind of relationship the UK will have with the EU.
So, how will this affect the current health and safety regulations?
Well, as The Health & Safety Work Act was a British, not European initiative, this should not change.
To support this act and as part of the EU Withdrawal Agreement that was recently ratified by the EU, there were three further acts put in place to ensure that the UK can continue to provide the high standard of health and safety it currently has:
Chemicals (Health and Safety) and Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019
Health and Safety (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
Health and Safety (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018
Will Brexit Affect Health & Safety With Other EU Countries?
On a positive note, this means that as long as the Government don’t make any policy changes that they should stay the same.
In fact, it could lead to the HSE and Health And Safety Industry having more of a say and leading UK policy.
On a more negative or at least, unknown note, we do not yet know how Brexit will change our trade with countries in the EU and this could cause changes in Health And Safety laws and legislation.
As with much of Brexit, there are lots of policy details that are unknown and quite likely at this stage that they won’t become known until very late on in the trade negotiations.
We would suggest that you keep checking the First2HelpYou Information pages because as soon as we find out about any news or health and safety policy changes, we will be sure to let you know!
Also, make a point to check the HSE for updates, we can read lots of what-ifs and speculation, but until anything is announced by The HSE or the Government then nothing will actually be set in stone.
Safety & Security Round Up 2020 -Get In Touch
As you can see, there is a lot going on in the world of safety and security this year and it’s only January!
If you do have any questions about the news stories we have written about, then we would love to have a chat with you.
Or if you would like to bring to our attention some other safety and security news that you think should be included in our monthly safety and security roundup 2020, then please do not hesitate to contact us.
You can telephone us on 0333 7729401, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online contact form here.