Well done to everyone who got passed the headline. The UK’s exit from the EU is a topic that provokes strong emotions and many pages of text, but what will the actual impact on health and safety regulation be? To a large extent that will depend on what deal is finally agreed and you are recommended to regularly check relevant official websites and the press for relevant updates.
Broadly speaking whatever deal (or lack of) the UK leaves on, legal requirements are expected to stay the same and your obligations to protect people’s health and safety will not change. There will be some changes, however most are expected to be of a minor technical nature, nevertheless some areas can expect more significant changes.
One area that could see more significant change is the regulation of chemicals, pesticides and biocides, particularly for those who manufacture or import these products. Further information on the plans in place so far can be found on a dedicated section of the HSE’s website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/brexit/chemicals-brexit-guidance.htm
Concerns have also been raised regarding the continued use of the CE mark, in particular in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit. Currently most new products placed on the European market must be CE marked to show that they comply with certain minimum requirements. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has announced that in most cases CE marking will continue to apply for products being placed on the UK market, however in some cases a new UKCA mark will be required. Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prepare-to-use-the-ukca-mark-after-brexit/using-the-ukca-marking-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-without-a-deal