Archive for April, 2015

Guidance on Managing the Risk of Hazardous Gases when Drilling or Piling Near Coal

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

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Petroleum Licensing (Applications) Regulations SI 2015/766

These Regulations come into force on 30 June 2015 and apply to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
They set out the requirements for licence applications for:

landward petroleum exploration;
seaward petroleum exploration;
methane drainage;
petroleum exploration and development; and
seaward area production.

Applications for licences: general
Applications can be made by any person.
Furthermore, applications must:

in the case…

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

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Picking apart the Party policies: UKIP

The manifestos have been released and with them an outline of what to expect for several key industries and sectors should any of the parties be elected.

With that in mind, the health and safety and the environmental sectors can each expect some kind of impact of varying degree, depending on which Party comes out on top.

In this instalment of the “Picking apart the Party policies” series, Cedrec Legal Author, Amy Batch, looks at the UK Independence Party (UKIP). Key issues will be examined with a degree of insight from Cedrec.

Environment

The key policy of UKIP is to leave the EU and therefore rid itself of European legislation.

UKIP have said they will revoke the Climate Change Act 2008. They say this is due to its costliness and claim it undermines competitiveness. They also state the renewable capacity targets are “unattainable”.

UKIP wish to build opencast mines to exploit coal. They wish to develop an industry around coal, a rejuvenation, which they will also employ a coal commission to discuss how to assist growth. UKIP will seek private funding for the coal plants, which they say will create the majority of the UK's energy.

UKIP are to stop all subsidies for solar and windfarms, on the basis they “have blighted landscapes” and require conventional energy sources as backup reserves. In order to continue investing in renewables, hydro power is UKIP's preferred source, however no budget has been given for such investments.

UKIP support fracking, and have pledged that Community Infrastructure Levy incomes from shale gas operations will allow for lower council taxes. They have stated fracking must not compromise local communities and the environment, however how this will be regulated has not been explained in detail.

Health and Safety

Citing “massive over-regulation by the European Union” and the burden for smaller firms, UKIP will “cut red tape” in a similar way to the Conservatives. Unlike the Conservatives, however, they intend to do this by removing themselves from EU legislative obligations, therefore repealing all EU legislation in force in the UK. It is not discussed in the manifesto if UKIP plan to replace some of the red tape that will be removed should such a move be made.

See also

For more information, see the UKIP Manifesto 2015.

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Northern Ireland reject RIDDOR changes

Northern Ireland have decided they will not follow the rest of Great Britain in extending the threshold for reporting under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (Northern Ireland) (RIDDOR) SR 1997/455.

A public consultation carried out by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) found mixed views on the potential changes, which included:

  • extending the reporting of a work related injury or illness from three to seven days off work; and
  • condensing the illness categories.

RIDDOR was amended in Great Britain in 2012 and 2013 to bring in the above changes, but Northern Ireland chose not to do so at the time due to Northern Ireland Assembly’s Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment concerns on employee protection. Instead they opted for a consultation, which received 13 responses. Eight of which were in favour and four against. One did not express an opinion either way.

Commenting on the decision, the HSENI said: “Because of a clear lack of consensus in relation to the proposed changes and budgetary restraints in relation to their implementation which have arisen since the consultation was carried out, HSENI has decided, with the agreement of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI), not to proceed with the proposed changes in Northern Ireland.”

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Picking apart the Party policies: Cedrec’s take!

Cedrec Legal Author, Amy Batch, is looking at the “big six” Party manifestos: Conservative, Labour, Green Party, UKIP, Liberal Democrats and the SNP, with a brief analysis of what each Party intends for the environmental and health and safety sectors.

In the lead-up to the General Elections in May, new analyses of the manifestos will be published, detailing key points regarding the two sectors aforementioned and a brief insight as to what the policies mean for the hypothetical future.

Check back on this page for updates!

Party Manifestos

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Picking apart the Party policies: Labour

The manifestos have been released and with them an outline of what to expect for several key industries and sectors should any of the parties be elected.

With that in mind, the health and safety and the environmental sectors can each expect some kind of impact of varying degree, depending on which Party comes out on top.

In the second of the “Picking apart the Party policies” series, Cedrec Legal Author, Amy Batch, looks at the shadow Party, Labour. Key issues will be examined with a degree of insight from Cedrec.

Environment

Labour say they will create an “Energy Security Board”. This Board will plan and deliver an energy mix to meet the demand, consisting of renewables, nuclear, green gas, carbon capture and clean coal. The mix of this energy is not given in great detail, and the cleanliness of coal is a subject of great debate.

Regulatory regimes will be put in place before onshore oil and gas extraction can take place, whilst Labour state they wish to protect the offshore oil and gas industry, which they say will be achieved through certainty on tax rates and maximising potential for carbon storage. Extraction of oil and gas, whether conventional or not, does not coincide well with carbon targets and divestment pleas. Similarly to the Conservatives, however, transitional periods are necessary for divestment, if that is the intention, to be carried out without disrupting the power grid.

Labour pledge to remove the carbon from the electricity supply by 2030, with a “drive for energy efficiency”. They also wish to create 1 million “green jobs” by 2025. Brilliant news for the environmental industry, but Labour haven't given too much away as to how this will be achieved in 10 short years.

Health and Safety

The Labour Party have not made clear what they intend to do in the instance they are elected for health and safety. Occupational safety is a large industry in itself, and over the last 40 years, since the introduction of the Health and Safety at Work etc. 1974, has been the subject of much debate and scrutiny.

Should the Conservatives continue to cut “red tape”, it will be interesting to see if Labour maintain the Red Tape Challenge.

See also

For more information see the:

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Picking apart the Party policies: Conservatives

In the run-up to the May General Elections, the manifestos have been released and with them an outline of what to expect for several key industries and sectors should any of the parties be elected.

With that in mind, the health and safety and the environmental sectors can each expect some kind of impact of varying degree, depending on which Party comes out on top.

The first of the “Picking apart the Party policies” series, Cedrec Legal Author, Amy Batch, takes a look at the incumbent Prime Minister's Party, the Conservatives. Key issues will be examined with a degree of insight as to what it means for the environmental and health and safety industries.

Environment

Environment is a huge talking point in politics and media, and rightly so. The global warming crisis, EU 2020 targets and sustainable living are some instances of topics that can provoke controversy, panic and productivity.

The Conservatives have set out their policies and highlighted three intriguing commitments.

The Blue Belt is an idea to conserve “precious marine habitat” in a similar way to the Green Belt. However, the Green Belt has in recent times become slightly inconsistent, with the perimeter of the belt moving to suit needs and stipulations being added that it can be built on if there is nowhere else to develop. Should a Blue Belt come in, it will be interesting to see how it is protected in the years to come.

On the subject of the Green Belt, the Conservatives have pledged to spend £3 billion over five years to maintain the Belt, support bees, clean rivers and lakes and protect stonewalls and hedges.

Cameron's party have not shied away from admitting they will continue to exploit shale gas and oil. They say this is both to “strengthen” energy security and to be a “transitional” fuel to support the move to low-carbon, greener alternatives. If this is true, it is a fair argument. You cannot switch the power burden of a country with near 64 million people to green-only overnight, especially when we rely so much on finite fuels. Transitional is acceptable, however, if transitional will carry on for many years with little improvement, Cameron may well end up a little red-faced.

They have stated clearly they will not invest further in onshore windfarms. “Onshore wind now makes a meaningful contribution to our energy mix” however “onshore windfarms often fail to win public support”, therefore “as a result, we will end any new public subsidy for them and change the law so that local people have the final say on windfarm applications.” It is too early to know for sure how such a policy will pan out, but given that finite fuels are allegedly only to be used for transition as the country becomes more dependant on renewable energy, one might be curious to see where the Conservatives look to replace finite fuels to power the public.

Health and Safety

The Red Tape Challenge continues, with the Conservatives pledging to cut £10 billion of “red tape” and implement the One-In-Two-Out rule, of creating one new instrument which can update and consolidate existing legislation, therefore making it possible to revoke that existing legislation.

The effect this will have on health and safety legislation has already began, with guidance and Approved Codes of Practice (ACoP) being removed, and several new pieces of legislation coming into force which revoke, therefore remove, quite a few existing instruments. In the cases of some legislation where ACoPs have been ruled out yet are thought to be important to have, a “mini” ACoP has been considered for publication, such as for the new Construction (Design and Management) Regulations SI 2015/51.

See also

For more information, see the:

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A draft guide to the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

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Planning (Hazardous Substances) Regulations SI 2015/627

These Regulations come into force on 1 June 2015 and apply to England only.
They set out:

the substances which are hazardous substances for the purposes of the Planning (Hazardous Substances) Act 1990;
procedures to be followed for applications for hazardous substances consent;
procedures for the enforcement of hazardous substances control;
the information to be…

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

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Health and Safety and Nuclear (Fees) Regulations SI 2015/363

These Regulations came into force on 6 April 2015 and apply to England, Scotland and Wales.
On 6 April 2020 they will cease to have effect.
They revoke and replace the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations SI 2012/1652, consolidating amendments to those Regulations. They reproduce most of the charges and remove some…

Details on this legislative text is provided by Cedrec. Please click here to see the summary.

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