The world of health and safety has been preparing from a regulatory point of view for the UK’s departure from the EU. Whilst consistency will be maintained across most regulations, there are some around the control of substances that may be impacted.
The three main regulations around the management of dangerous substances are COSHH, the CLP regulations, and REACH.
- COSHH stands for the Control of Substance Hazardous to Health
- CLP stands for Classification, Labelling, and Packaging for supply
- REACH stands for the Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals
All three regulatory frameworks work together to provide safety for both workers and members of the public when it comes to dangerous substances. Following regulations like COSHH has a number of benefits for both you and your company, both in terms of worker safety and legal compliance
Will COSHH change after Brexit?
As a UK standard, the COSHH regulations will probably not change in the event of a no-deal Brexit, however, the other two which are European directives may be subject to change.
The REACH regulations are focused around the evaluation of chemicals, so safety data sheets and chemical management would fall under this bracket. CLP is mainly focused on the labeling and packaging for products that contain potentially harmful chemicals.
Whilst it is a European Directive, the CLP regulations are unlikely to change as they are the standards for many different countries around the world including those in the EU. They are also complementary to the COSHH regulation and as such would not make a huge amount of sense to change.
Out of COSHH, CLP, and REACH, the REACH regulations are most likely to see a change after Brexit. These regulations dictate the information that is needed on safety data sheets and these are required under European Law. The UK Government has stated that it will likely produce identical regulations to replace the REACH regulations currently in place.
Whilst any changes would cause some disruption to the processes in health and safety, the transition period will allow for the issues to be worked out and learnings to be put into action.
Make sure your workers have an understanding of COSHH and other regulations
Whilst the regulatory frameworks around COSHH and the associated symbols and other forms of legislation may change after the UK leaves the EU, having a good understanding of the fundamentals will help you keep workers safe from dangerous substances. We provide resources on health and safety training and regulatory articles on areas like COSHH and RIDDOR to keep you and your workforce as up-to-date as possible.