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News

New explosives regulations laid before parliament

HSE InfoLine : 06 April, 2005  (Company News)
New regulations on the manufacture and storage of explosives have been laid before Parliament, the Health and Safety Executive announced today (5 April). The Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005 will come into force on 26 April.
New regulations on the manufacture and storage of explosives have been laid before Parliament, the Health and Safety Executive announced today (5 April). The Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations 2005 will come into force on 26 April.

The Regulations will replace most of the Explosives Act 1875, retaining the fundamental features of the existing regulatory framework while updating it to take account of changes in technology and the economy. They will also replace 37 items of secondary legislation.This work forms part of the Health and Safety Commission's contribution to the Government's better regulation effort.

Britain has a good record in ensuring safety in and around explosives sites. The new Regulations are intended to maintain and improve safety standards by consolidating existing law into a single set of regulations making it easier for both industry and enforcers to understand what the law requires; and by bringing together guidance on best practice into a single document.

The key requirements of the Regulations are:

anyone manufacturing or storing explosives must take appropriate measures to prevent fire or explosion, to limit the extent of any fire or explosion, and protect persons, should one occur;
in most cases a separation distance must be maintained between the explosives building and neighbouring inhabited buildings; and
with certain exceptions a licence is required for the manufacture or storage of explosives.
The new Regulations retain the fundamental features of the existing framework but will introduce a number of changes. These include:

the key safety requirements will apply to The Ministry of Defence and other government departments;
enforcement responsibilities are to be rationalised so that the police will enforce both safety and security requirements at certain high explosives stores;
licensing authorities will have the power to refuse, revoke or modify licences in certain circumstances;
a new duty prohibiting supply of fireworks to anyone unable to prove they have a licensed or registered store available; and
the tightening of limits on the amount of fireworks which can be kept without a licence or registration.
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