Britain's OSHA Seeks Simpler Chemicals Regulatory Scheme

The agency, equivalent to OSHA in the United States, said the simpler regulations will not add new responsibilities for employers or reduce important protections for workers, the public, and the environment.

Britain's Health and Safety Executive opened a six-week public comment period Dec. 20 on proposed changes to its chemicals legislation, with the goal of updating and simplifying the domestic regulations that support the EU legislation on Biocides, Export and Import of Hazardous Chemicals and the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals Regulations.

The agency, equivalent to OSHA in the United States, said the simpler regulations will not add new responsibilities for employers or reduce important protections for workers, the public, and the environment from hazardous substances. Comments also are sought by Jan. 31, 2013, on proposed changes in how HSE enforces regulations governing the import and export of chemicals.

The proposed changes are being made in response to a government report published in November 2011 that recommended HSE commence sector-specific consolidations by April 2015 to reduce the number of regulations by about 35 percent. (www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/lofstedt-report.pdf).

"Simplifying and consolidating the regulatory requirements concerning biocides, CLP and PIC will make it more straightforward for businesses in the chemical industry to understand and comply with their responsibilities," said Deborah Traynor, HSE's consultation manager. "The proposed statutory instrument will update and largely mirror existing regulatory provisions for biocides, PIC, and CLP."

Full details are in the consultation document available at www.hse.gov.uk/consult/condocs/cd249.htm.

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