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HSE invites views on proposals affecting the self-employed

07 July 2014

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is inviting views on the proposed definitions of those self-employed people who will continue to have duties under health and safety law.

Under current proposals self-employed persons will be exempt from Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA) except those undertaking activities on a prescribed list.

On Monday 7 July, the HSE launched an online consultation that explains the prescribed activities, as well as seeking views on the proposed definitions.
The consultation will run for eight weeks, closing on 31 August. Responses will be analysed once it is closed.
Prescribed activities are those:
  • that have high rates of injuries and/or fatalities, such as agriculture;
  • where there is a significant risk to members of the public, for example fairground attractions;
  • where there is the potential for mass fatalities, such as explosives; and
  • where there is a European Union obligation to retain the general duty on self-employed persons, for example at temporary or mobile construction sites.
 Sarah Wadham from the Health and Safety Executive says: "We are keen to hear from self-employed people who carry out these prescribed activities. Health and safety law will still apply to them and we need to ensure that legal definitions are clear and easy for them to understand.

"We also want to provide clear health and safety guidance to all self-employed workers in an accessible way. Feedback from this consultation will be invaluable in helping us do this.”  
"Anybody wishing to have a say on the proposals should visit the HSE website today.”
The proposed changes are still subject to parliamentary clearance, and if approved, are likely to come into effect in 2015.