COVID-19 New State Guidance (England)

UPDATE : FAQs are here

I posted this morning that new guidance would be published at 2pm today.

This new guidance comprises –

(1) the UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy (60 pages) (England) – here

(2) new guidance on staying alert and social distancing (England) – here

(3) new guidance on staying safe outside the house – here

In addition, Transport for London has issued guidance asking for everyone to wear a non-medical face covering on public transport in London for the entire journey.

The London Mayor has also issued a video on social media asking all travellers on London public transport to wear a non-medical face covering for their entire journey.

The new state guidance (England) on how to wear and make a cloth face covering is here.

This is a lot to take in, and I will issue further separate Blog posts on the matter.

Workplace Organisation and Transport guidance will be issued tomorrow, so expect further Blog posts also then.

COVID-19 Construction Site Operating Procedures (England)

The Construction Leadership Council has published Construction Sector Site Operating Procedures (SOPs) in their third edition, dating 14 April, applicable in England.

These cover hygiene at the construction site, first aid at the construction site, social distancing at the construction site, and travel to and from work at the construction site. Please see the full contents list at the start of the document.

The practical measures set out are relevant not only at construction sites, but at many other workplaces (hence this post).

The document is here.

COVID-19 Return to Work Safely Protocol (Ireland)

Ireland (the Republic of Ireland) has a staged programme of release of COVID-19 restrictions. On 9 May, the Irish state published a Return to Work Safely Protocol.

This Protocol is here.

The Protocol asserts – (I have separated some of the sentences to make reading easier – this is not the full Protocol, please follow the link to the actual document)

Adherence to this protocol will only be achieved if employers and workers have a shared responsibility to implement the measures contained in this protocol in their place of work. A collaborative approach to the implementation of the protocol is essential to achieve success and maximum buy-in.

Each workplace will appoint at least one lead worker representative charged with ensuring that COVID-19 measures are strictly adhered to in their place of work. The person(s) undertaking the role must receive the necessary training and have a structured framework to follow within the organisation to be effective in preventing the spread of the virus.

Employers will have regular and meaningful engagement with their worker representative, workers and/or their recognised Trade Union or other representatives (including their Health and Safety Committee where this exists) about the measures being put in place to address the occupational exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.

Employers will provide a COVID-19 induction training for all workers.

The number of worker representatives for COVID-19 appointed will, ideally, be proportionate to the number of workers in the workplace and this person should be clearly identifiable in the workplace.

Employers and worker representatives will work together to ensure that all the actions in this protocol are fully adhered to in order to ensure the suppression of COVID-19 in the workplace.

Note that this Protocol is not intended to replace the existing measures that essential businesses, which have continued to operate, have already implemented. However, such businesses should review their existing measures to ensure they are in line with this Protocol.

The Protocol should be used by all workplaces to adapt their workplace procedures and practices to comply fully with the COVID-19 related public health protection measures identified as necessary by the HSE (the Irish state public health authority, not to be confused with the HSA which is the Irish state workplace Health and Safety authority). It sets out in very clear terms for employers and workers the steps that they must take before a workplace reopens, and while it continues to operate.

A high-level consultative stakeholder forum, under the aegis of the Labour Employer Economic Forum, will be established. This forum will include membership from the various bodies with responsibility for health and safety at work and for public health more generally. The forum will allow for ongoing engagement at national level on implementation issues in light of evolving public health advice and other factors.

COVID-19 HSE Guidance (Britain)

I posted before about COVID-19 guidance and instructions being developed and published by Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The link is here (and there is more there).

Note the RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19, first aid cover and qualifications during the outbreak, and the system of contacting the HSE with workplace concerns.

Please note the other links from this page.

50 pages of detail of the new COVID-19 Strategy (England) is being published at 2pm today, and I will post then about that.

Tomorrow, new workplace guidance will be published, and new transport guidance. I will post about these topics then (likely two posts),

COVID-19 England Restriction Changes (England)

Last night, the UK Prime Minister addressed the nation signalling changes to the England COVID-19 Restrictions rules and guidance.

The transcript of this address (10 May) as delivered is here.

The Scottish First Minister had earlier in the day confirmed no changes in Scotland, and this had been followed by similar announcements by the leaders of the other devolved administrations, Wales and Northern Ireland.

At 2pm today, 50 pages of detail will be published, these will relate to England. At 3.30pm the UK Prime Minister will present a Ministerial Statement of the new COVID-19 Strategy to Parliament, and a debate will follow.

Tomorrow, 11 May, will see publication of new workplace guidance (I posted about this some days ago) and also new transport guidance.

I will post again when the 50 pages of detail is published.

A few details from the 10 May address (with additions from this morning’s press and media briefings and Ministers answering questions from the public) –

(1) changes will be made to outdoor exercise and transport rules, applying from Wednesday 12 May (England)

(2) those workplaces not listed in the restrictions law that had shut anyway should reopen from Wednesday 12 May (England) (adhering to new workplace guidance issued tomorrow 11 May)

(3) new transport guidance will be issued tomorrow 11 May for workers not able to work from home

(4) new outdoor exercise rules will apply from Wednesday 12 May (England)

(5) new published COVID-19 alert message (England)

(6) new published COVID19 alert levels (England)

(7) 14-day quarantine for arrivals at ports and airports (England) (date as yet unspecified)

Personal Protective Equipment (EU)

Existing PPE Directive 89/686/EEC covers the manufacture and marketing of personal protective equipment. It defines legal obligations to ensure that PPE on the European market provides the highest level of protection against hazards. The CE marking affixed to PPE provides evidence of this protection. Manufacturers or their authorised representative in the EU comply with the technical requirements directly or with European Harmonised Standards. The latter provides a presumption of conformity to the essential health and safety requirements.

Applicable 21 April 2018, Directive 89/686/EEC is repealed by the new Regulation (EU) 2016/425 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on personal protective equipment – here.

The new PPE Regulation is aligned to the EU’s New Legislative Framework policy. In addition, it slightly modifies the scope (enlarged to include PPE designed and manufactured for private use to protect against heat) and the risk categorisation of products. It also clarifies the documentary obligations of economic operators.

As a European Regulation (not a Directive) it is directly binding on a Member State (and on operators marketing to a Member State) without enactment of national law (although national law may be additionally enacted).

Brexit : PPE is covered by the EU Notice on Industrial Goods here. (I have posted a number of times with links to EU Notices)

Brexit in the UK, this new EU PPE Regulation applies from 21 April 2018, after Brexit it applies via the EU (Withdrawal) Bill. NB: the EU (Withdrawal) Bill is not yet enacted.

Subscribers to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Checklists will be sent an Email Alert of the addition of this new EU Regulation to the PPE Register and Checklist component in their websystems.

EU (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-2019 (Days 1 & 2)

UPDATE : UK Government fact sheets are here.

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (EUW Bill – UK law) will repeal the instrument that puts EU law into UK domestic law (the UK European Communities Act 1972) and create a new class of UK domestic law termed ‘retained EU law‘.

Subscribers to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Law Checklists will see this new category appear in their Registers. First, the Brexit Law will be corralled into a single area accessed on the top right (Environment, and Occupational Health & Safety).

The EUW Bill is at the House of Commons Committee stage, an important stage when amendments are considered.

Day 1 of the considerations was yesterday. This considered amendments to Clause 1 and Clause 6 of the Bill.

Day 2 is today. This will consider Clauses 2, 3 and 4 (the EU retained law itself).

Clause 1 repeals the 1972 European Communities Act. No changes were agreed.

Clause 6 addresses the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union (often referred to as the European Court of Justice) after exit day. No changes were agreed.

UPDATE : Clauses 2, 3 and 4. No changes were agreed, Clause 4 was agreed.

Clause 6 (Interpretation of retained EU law) says :

6 Interpretation of retained EU law

A court or tribunal—

(a)  is not bound by any principles laid down, or any decisions made, on or after exit day by the European Court, and

(b) cannot refer any matter to the European Court on or after exit day.

A court or tribunal need not have regard to anything done on or after exit day by the European Court, another EU entity or the EU but may do so if it considers it appropriate to do so.

Any question as to the validity, meaning or effect of any retained EU law is to be decided, so far as that law is unmodified on or after exit day and so far as they are relevant to it –

(a) in accordance with any retained case law and any retained general principles of EU law, and

(b) having regard (among other things) to the limits, immediately before exit day, of EU competences.

But—

(a) Supreme Court is not bound by any retained EU case law,

(b)  the High Court of Justiciary is not bound by any retained EU case law

Etc