August 2017 – Publication of terms of reference for the Independent Review of Building Regulations & Fire Safety
On the 30 August 2017 the government published the terms of reference for the independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety that was commissioned following the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy. This Review will urgently assess the effectiveness of current building and fire safety regulations and related compliance and enforcement issues, with a focus on multi-occupancy high rise residential buildings. This will include addressing whether the government’s large-scale cladding system testing programme identified any potential systemic failures.
The Review’s two key priorities are to develop a more robust regulatory system for the future and provide further assurance to residents that the buildings they live in are safe and remain safe. While the Review will cover the regulatory system for all buildings, it will have a specific focus on multi-occupancy high rise residential buildings.
The Review will report jointly to Communities Secretary Sajid Javid and Home Secretary Amber Rudd. An interim report will be submitted in autumn 2017 and a final report submitted in spring 2018. The Review will co-operate fully with the Public Inquiry, and Dame Judith Hackitt will review her recommendations in the light of the findings of the Inquiry.
Click here to read terms of reference.
December 2017 – Publication of ISO 45001
BS OHSAS 18001 is currently the recognised standard for best practice occupational health and safety management. It is due to be replaced by the new international standard by end of December 2017.
Key changes relate to:
- Increased prominence of environmental management within the organisation's strategic planning processes
- Greater focus on leadership
- The addition of proactive initiatives to protect the environment from harm and degradation, such as sustainable resource use and climate change mitigation
- Improving environmental performance added lifecycle thinking when considering environmental aspects
- The addition of a communications strategy
Multiple benefits include:
- Reduce work related injuries, ill health and death
- Eliminate or minimise OH&S risks
- Improve OH&S performance and effectiveness
- Demonstrate corporate responsibility and meet supply chain requirements
- Protect brand reputation
- Motivate and engage staff through consultation and participation
December 2018 – Globally Harmonised System (GHS)
The GHS is a single worldwide system developed by the United Nations for classifying and communicating the hazardous properties of industrial and consumer chemicals. In the long run GHS will make classification of mixtures easier, cheaper, more accurate and all for more flexibility.
GHS promises to deliver several distinct benefits:
• Promoting regulatory efficiency
• Facilitating trade
• Easing compliance
• Reducing cost
• Proving improved and consistent hazard information
• Encouraging the safety transport, handling and use of chemicals
• Promoting better emergency response to chemical incidents
The UN GHS is not a formal treaty but instead is a non-legally binding international agreement therefore countries (or trading blocks) must create local or national legislation to implement the GHS.
Ongoing - COP21 ripple effect
COP21 is aiming to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C. COP21 in Paris is the culmination of six years of international negotiations. This agreement will for the first time provide:
- A high-level framework to drive forward national actions on climate change in all of the world’s major economies
- A robust processes to monitor the implementation of national actions;
- A timetable for nations to review and strengthen those actions; and
- International mechanisms to promote climate-friendly finance, technology transfer and adaptation to climate change impacts.
Commitments by countries to provide updates on their plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change will mean stakeholders are now more likely to hold companies accountable regarding their initiatives. This will mean potential impacts on EHS and sustainability programmes, as well as new or enhanced regulatory and reputational risk management.
COP21 raises some important questions for you and your organisation:
- What will COP21 mean for your company?
- How are you planning to manage the business risks and opportunities that will result from the transition to a global economy with substantially lower GH emissions?
- Will your organisation be able to respond effective to the myriad carbon-related regulations, costs and incentives that are being introduced in each of the countries where you operate?
April 2018 - PPE Regulation (EU) 2016/425 enforcement in 2018
The PPE Regulation is mandatory and will apply on 21 April 2018. The previous Directive focused on manufactures placing products onto the market, but when the new Regulation becomes effective the whole supply chain will be involved therefore early preparation is key.
April 2018 - EPC regulation changes come into force in 2018 for non-domestic properties
The Department for Energy & Climate Change (DECC) have finalised the 2018 EPC regulation changes for England and Wales. The regulations set out the minimum level of energy efficiency for private non-domestic rented property in England and Wales.
From the 1 April 2018, it will become unlawful for landlords of non-domestic private rented properties (including public sector landlords) to grant tenancy to new or renew or extend existing tenants if their property has an EPC rating of band F or G, unless an exemption applies or the landlord has made all the relevant energy efficiency improvements. By 1 April 2023, landlords must not continue to let a non-domestic property which is already let if that property has an EPC rating of band F or G – even where there has been no tenancy renewal, extension or new tenancy. Data from the national EPC register indicates that 18% of commercial stock has EPC ratings of F&G and another 20% are rated E.
The regulation will come with three possible options:
- Soft start meaning only new leases will need to comply with the minimum EPC
- Hard start – affecting all leases from 1st April 2018; or
- Phased introduction – meaning a soft start of 1st April for all new leases with hard backstop of 2023 for all existing leases. This is the Government’s preferred option.
May 2018 - General Data Protection Regulation to overhaul how businesses process and handle data
On 25 May 2018 The Information Commissioner’s Office will enforce The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The legislation is designed to harmonise data privacy laws across Europe as well as give greater protection and rights to individuals. Within the GDPR there are large changes for the public as well as businesses and bodies that handle personal information. The new regulation brings new rights for people to access the information hold about them, obligations for better data management for businesses, and a new regime of fines.
Click here to read News Spotlight October 2017