The two metre rule
Construction industry attempts to wriggle out of its duty to protect workers has backfired after the Health and Safety Commission refused to compromise on new Work at Height Regulations. The Industry had tried to water down the new Regulations by challenging the HSE decisions to scrap the “two metre rule”. But the HSE has now stood by its decision to get rid of the rule, so this means that safety measures have to be in place for work carried out at any height, whether below or above two metres.
Corporate manslaughter bill delayed
Plans to make it easier to prosecute companies following workplace deaths have suffered a further setback with there now being little prospect of a law materialising before the general election. The draft bill was scheduled for publication on 21 December 2004. The latest delay will means the Government will break its manifesto promise of an Act on Corporate Manslaughter before the election, and breaks a commitment in the Queens Speech to publish a draft bill before Christmas 2004.
The Social Security (Industrial Injuries) (Prescribed Diseases) Amendment Regulations 2005 were laid before Parliament on 18 February. The Regulations implement from 7 March recommendations that three disease should be added to the list of prescribed diseases. These are:
- Osteo-arthritis of the hip in farmers
- Lyme disease for workers exposed to borrelia
- Anaphylaxis in health care workers exposed to natural rubber latex products.