The Health and Safety Authority are to conduct a public consultation on draft revised construction regulations in advance of implementation of changes affecting domestic homeowners coming into effect from 1st June 2013
A public consultation commences today on new draft construction health and safety regulations, aimed at providing a substantial reduction in the burden of compliance. The draft Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013 are published today, and submissions are sought from all interested parties in advance of 14th December 2012. The intention is that the new Regulations will be finalised, drafted and signed in advance of 1st June 2013.
Among the changes which are proposed by the draft regulations are:
· Simplify and consolidate construction safety legislation by consolidating 6 pieces of legislation
· Reduce regulatory burden on people having building works carried out and on the construction industry by removing many short, low-risk construction activities from the regulatory requirements of the Construction Regulations
· Reduce administrative burden on people having building works carried out and on the construction industry by reducing the obligation to create/maintain records
Also announced today is the signing of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) (Amendment) Regulations 2012, which will mean that with effect from 1st June 2013, domestic homeowners will come within the definition of ‘client’ for the purposes of the workplace health and safety Construction Regulations.
This change is taking effect in order to combat fatalities and serious injuries on domestic construction sites, comply with our obligations under European law and avoid substantial fines for the taxpayer, and reduce activity in the shadow economy. It will mean that additional health and safety duties will from 1st June 2013 arise for domestic homeowners when certain types of construction works are carried out in their homes (see below).
Martin O’Halloran, CEO of the Health and Safety Authority, said:
“In the past three years there have been 11 fatalities in construction on domestic dwellings in Ireland. There have also been large numbers of serious injuries to workers on construction sites on domestic dwellings. By extending the health and safety provisions of the construction regulations to include some works being carried out on domestic houses, I am convinced that we can contribute to a reduction in this number.
“These amendments will result in changes for homeowners seeking to have construction work carried out on their domestic dwellings. Amending the main Construction Regulations in advance of implementation of this change will strike the right balance between assisting homeowners to comply and encouraging safety improvement on domestic construction sites.
“The HSA will provide advice, guidance and template documents for homeowners affected by these changes, prior to the regulations coming into force. Initial draft versions of proposed regulations and guidance are available on the HSA website on the consultation page. Further information on the consultation process will be available from the Authority”.
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said:
“These changes will achieve three important objectives. Firstly they will help reduce the unacceptably high number of deaths and serious injuries to workers on construction sites. Over the last 3 years there were 11 deaths and many more serious injuries on domestic construction sites, figures which are by any measure too high. Secondly they will help reduce activity in the shadow economy by promoting a higher level of general compliance, bringing benefits to the exchequer, to the construction sector and to the economy at large. And thirdly it will ensure that the taxpayer avoids significant fines and legal costs as a result of infringement proceedings.
“I have asked the HSA to carry out a full and comprehensive review of the regulatory and administrative burden imposed by the existing construction regulations to identify revisions that can be effected to reduce the regulatory burden imposed on all clients in construction, while not diminishing workplace health and safety standards. I have also asked them to ensure that the effect of these changes is communicated clearly and that they provide resources to ensure that people’s questions can be answered. I urge people to get involved in this consultation process”.
Contact: Gavin Lonergan, Communications Manager, HSA, 087-0523006