The Deregulation Act was introduced in the House of Commons on 23 January 2014 and received Royal Assent, becoming law, on 26 March 2015. The Deregulation Act 2015 provides for the removal or reduction of burdens on businesses, civil society, individuals, public sector bodies and the taxpayer. The Act covers a range of topics that relate to health and safety, detailed below.
Section 1 – Health and Safety at Work: General Duty of Self-Employed Persons
This amends Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which places a general duty on employers and the self-employed to conduct their business in a way that ensures, as far as is reasonably practicable, that they and persons (other than their employees) are not exposed to risks to their health or safety.
The amendment limits the scope of this general duty on self-employed persons, by applying the duty to those self-employed persons carrying out certain activities on a prescribed list, rather than all those who are self-employed. This has the effect of exempting self-employed persons who are not covered by the prescribed list, from this duty.
Section 6 and 7 – Requirements to Wear Safety Helmets: Exemption for Sikhs
The exemption for turban wearing Sikhs from wearing a safety helmet is extended from construction sites to all workplaces (except in urgent response to hazardous situations such as fire or riots, or if the individual is a member of Her Majesty’s Forces and taking part in a military operation). This therefore includes visitors to a workplace as well as workers.
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