Risk control set to take priority over written risk assessments

The HSE Business Plan 2016/17 has now been published and includes HSE commitments to greater emphasis on risk control rather than risk assessment ‘paperwork’ plus simplification of the COSHH Regulations, Control of Lead at Work Regulations and the requirements of DSEAR.

The new HSE plan includes the following specific matters which are most relevant to the construction sector:

  • Risk Assessment – HSE will take forward a proposal to place more emphasis on risk control and less on written assessment. This will involve publication of new risk assessment guidance. The work will build on recent changes in HSE risk assessment guidance;
  • Hazardous and Dangerous Substances – undertake a review and simplification of regulations regarding chemicals in order to promote “proportionate risk management” and make it easier for duty holders to understand and comply with their duties. This will involve changes to the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) , the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 (CLAW) and the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR); and
  • Inspection of Equipment etc. – a review of the legislative requirements for plant and equipment inspection.

In delivering the plan, HSE state “we are committed to ensuring value for money for the taxpayer by reducing our reliance on government funding” while continuing to improve our efficiency and effectiveness.