Health and safety in 2021

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Health and safety in 2021

As we leave behind 2020, many of us are wondering what 2021 has in store for many health and safety professionals. Although we cannot predict the future, we can look back and analyse the key areas of health and safety and what to expect for the year ahead. 

Returning to work

Returning to work

With the recent news of a vaccine rollout, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Getting employers to return to work is a huge task for many businesses. Many employers have already or will need to adapt their offices and work environments to be COVID secure. The HSE will be carrying out spot checks and inspections on businesses to ensure they are COVID-secure and confirm the measures they’ve put in place are in line with the latest guidance. Failure to comply, certain work practices may need to be stopped until businesses have made it safe for their workforce. They could also face a fine and even prosecution. 

Mental health and wellbeing

Mental health and wellbeing

It is no surprise that mental health and wellbeing have been pushed at the top of the agenda since the start of the pandemic. The impact of COVID-19 has caused many of us anxiety, stress, loneliness, frustrations and unfortunately grief of loved ones. It is employers’ legal and moral duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their staff, which includes mental health and wellbeing. Many employers will need to adapt a range of measures and provide training and guidance to support their staff to regain effective work-life balance.

Increase of remote working

Increase of remote working

Many businesses have seen effective results from homeworkers. With increased productivity, as well as financial benefits such as reduced overheads and expenses, remote working is expected to be more prevalent than previously. As long as staff have the right support and technology, many businesses will be changing their work practices and environment.
Changes to COSHH legislation

Changes to COSHH legislation

With the UK leaving the EU at the beginning of this year, the UK will have its own framework for COSHH that will reflect the EU (EU BPR) framework but will operate independently. All businesses that supply chemicals will now have to deal with the HSE as the GB CLP Agency instead of the Euorpean Chemical Agency (ECHA). Many regulations have now changed such as biocides, CLP, PIC, PPP and REACH. Please read HSE’s website here.

Placing civil explosives on the market

Staying on top of market entry requirements is more important than ever for the UK’s SMEs. The UKCA mark will replace the CE mark for civil explosives placed on the UK market. There will be a lead way for businesses to comply with these new requirements where CE marking can still be used until January 2022, assuming that the requirements for the EU and UK legislation remain the same. The Government is urging businesses to be ready to use the UKCA marking as soon as possible. Goods that have already been placed on the UK market before January 2021 can continue to circulate. For more information click  here.

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