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Every year, several pieces of legislation are introduced to update current business health and safety laws. This is to ensure the continued safety and wellbeing of all employees, as well as taking into account current environmental standards. However, as you are probably more than aware, keeping up-to-date with all business regulations and compliance can be difficult in itself, not to mention ensuring that you are aware of any recent changes. This guide aims to give you an overall idea of any important changes that have happened over the last year, and how these may affect your business.

Gas

Up until this year, gas safety checks had to be carried out on a specific date (exactly one year after the previous one). However, new regulation allows you to carry out the work up to two months before the due date but keep the same annual check date. This is beneficial to a business as it can help with logistics and planning of this inspection.

The record keeping of these gas safety record have also slightly altered, with amended regulations stating that the last two records must be kept, rather than just one record kept for at least 2 years.

Energy Regulations

With the current global warming crisis, changes to energy regulations are important and must be adhered to. As of the 1st of April this year, any business that is categorised under the Energy Intensive Industry (EII) title, such as mining, steel, engineering and heavy manufacturing, can receive 85% exemption on the costs of the Renewables Obligation (RO) (for more information on RO take a look here). This helps provide companies that consume a lot of energy with money exemptions when they prove a focus on saving energy and using renewable resources.

GDPR

GDPR’s arrival was a huge story during the last year, finally coming into force on 25th May 2018. Focusing on data protection, GDPR looks at how businesses process and handle its data. It’s a complex law but the key points to note are:

Consent – Consent to keep and use customer data must be clear and easy to withdraw at any time.

Security Breach – If your company should be subject to a security breach, you must let your customers and any data controllers know within 72 hours. Failure to do this leads to fines.

Right to Data Access – Customers have the right to request their data profile if they wish.

Right to Be Forgotten – Customers have the right to request their personal data is deleted.

Date Security – Companies must employ proper data security to protect all data, including appointing a data protection officer (DPO), though this is dependent on the size of your company and the level you process and collect data.

Health and Safety

On the 1st January this year, the Ionising Radiation Regulations came into effect. Relating to organisations that use X-ray equipment, e.g. hospitals or dentist surgeries, this regulation requires that these companies notify the Health and Safety Executive that they work with ionising radiation as well as introduce much stricter annual exposure limits for their employees.

Similarly, another new regulation that focuses on safe products being introduced into the consumer market was established in April this year. This law puts an equal responsibility of providing safe and effective products on the importers, distributors and retailers of said products, rather than simply on the manufacturers.

Electricity

IET Wiring Regulations have introduced an update to the design, erection and verification of electrical installations. These alterations could mean that your current installations are not compliant.  For a detailed understanding of these changes, take a look here.

Whilst it may seem like there are a lot of changes to current legislation, as long as you spend time organising and allowing your company to properly prepare and implement changes, these regulation amendments should have very little impact on the day to day running of your facility. At MSL, we offer a complete and comprehensive compliance maintenance service, so you can be assured that we are up-to-date with every single legislation and all changes that occur, and will ensure that your facility is 100% compliant.