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News

Amendment to the management of health and safety at work regulations

HSE InfoLine : 06 April, 2006  (Company News)
The amendment changes the civil liability provisions in the Regulations so as to exclude the right of third parties to take legal action against employees for contraventions of their duties under these Regulations. This extends to employees the same protection against third party action as that provided for employers.
The Health and Safety Commission has announced an amendment to the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which comes into force today.

The amendment changes the civil liability provisions in the Regulations so as to exclude the right of third parties to take legal action against employees for contraventions of their duties under these Regulations. This extends to employees the same protection against third party action as that provided for employers.

The amendment neither creates any new duties, nor does it remove any. The practical effect will be to reduce the likelihood of claims against employees by third parties. Therefore, it is expected that there will be no additional burdens on businesses.

The wording of the 2003 amendment produced the unintended consequence of allowing claims to be brought against employees by third parties who were affected by their work activity, e.g. members of the public. This had not been the intention. One concerned group raised this unintended consequence of the 2003 amendment. HSE sought independent advice, which also concluded that there was potential for third parties to make claims against employees.

HSE found no evidence that the 2003 amendment has led to any claims against employees, but the potential for such claims was there.
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