October 2014 - Health and Safety Legislation

October 2014 - Health and Safety Legislation


Author: George Roberts

From 1 October 2014, three new pieces of safety legislation will come into force in the UK. Most of the changes are as a result of the Health and Safety Executive's (HSE) attempt to consolidate several existing pieces of legislation into one.

However, there's more to the new legislation than just consolidation: there are also a series of material changes.

Will any of them impact your business?

Acetylene safety (England & Wales & Scotland) Regulations 2014

The HSE has been working (in consultation with industry) to consolidate and modernise the existing regulations and guidance regarding the use of acetylene. As of 1 October 2014, there will now be one single set of regulations which govern working with acetylene.

There are a number of changes, the main ones to note being:

  • no longer a requirement to seek HSE approval for certain acetylene equipment so long as they comply with all current recognised standards; and
  • any person or company wishing to manufacture, compress or fill a cylinder with acetylene gas greater than 0.62 bar is required to hold a licence. This replaces the current complex process for gaining approval.

Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014

The new Petroleum (Consolidation) Regulations 2014 revoke and replace eight separate pieces of legislation. We recently prepared an article discussing the changes, which can be found here.

Explosives Regulations 2014

There is a plethora of existing legislation on the regulation of explosives. The new Explosives Regulations seek to simplify and consolidate the law into one regulation. The new regulations cover the safety of workers and members of the public when manufacturing, handling and storing explosives. The main changes to the legislation include:

  • allowing local authorities to issue licences up to 5 years;
  • extending licensing to address storage of ammonium nitrate blasting intermediate (ANBI);
  • exceptions for keeping higher hazard and desensitised explosives without a licence have been updated;
  • tables of separation distances have been restructured to better allow for sites with more than one store. The tables have also been revised to cover quantities of explosives greater than 2000kg;
  • a revised list of explosives that can be acquired or acquired and kept without an explosives certificate from the police; and
  • the repeal of the Fireworks Act 1951, as its remaining provisions have been superseded by the Pyrotechnic (Safety) Regulations 2010.


If you think any of the above pieces of legislation may impact your business and you'd like to know how the changes affect you, please get in touch.

Talk to our expert regulatory team by calling 03700 864207 or emailing [email protected].


This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.