Last December the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) completed its second post-implementation review (PIR) of the Control of Asbestos Regulations, 2012. A PIR is essentially a state-of-the-nation report to look at whether a set of regulations are working, whether they’re achieving the intended aims, and whether there were any unintended consequences. PIRs are enshrined in the regulations themselves – i.e. as part of the regs, the HSE has to mark itself every five years to make sure it’s achieving what it set out to do.
PIRs are typically huge documents, containing a great deal of evidence. This one is no exception. It includes minute detail on who responded to the associated questionnaire. This time, 1,850 people did, which is clear evidence of the importance our small industry attaches to this legislation.
The people who responded were broken down as follows:
- 6% of responders conducted licensable work
- 0% conducted non-notifiable work
- 1% conducted notifiable non-licensed work
- 0% conducted ‘other’ types of asbestos-related work
- 4% who manage asbestos via ‘Duty to Manage’ requirements
Those figures make it clear that the industry as a whole was engaged in the process.
One unusual thing is that this PIR was delayed by six months. This was for good reasons – the HSE wanted to incorporate the findings and feedback from the Work and Pensions Committee report. Mostly, though, how this featured was where the HSE referred back to its written response to the committee, or even that it fell outside of the scope of the questions they asked the responders – so not much extra light shone on the recommendations.
After the delay, the PIR is now published, and is a vast 160 pages long. If you’re interested in more detail, fortunately the good people at NORAC have boiled it down to something more digestible. In a nutshell, it’s all good, and there are no plans to change the legislation at this time – which hopefully will save it from the bonfire of the European legislation that is coming our way.
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