No impact on construction industry following legislation change for self-employed

20th August 2015

The Löfstedt Review of the UK’s Health and Safety legislation, carried out in 2011 at the request of the government, recommended that the self-employed person whose work activities pose no potential risk of harm to others should be exempt from health and safety law. This recommendation was accepted by Government and will come into force from October 1st 2015.

However the law says that there are certain work activities (prescribed undertakings) where the law still applies because they are high risk. A full schedule of prescribed undertakings is listed in the new regulations and construction work is included in the schedule:

3. Construction

(1) Any work which is carried out on a construction site.

(2) Any work in relation to a project carried out by a designer, a client, a contractor, a principal contractor or a principal designer which gives rise to a duty under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015(7) (“the 2015 Regulations”).

(3) In this paragraph-

(a)“client”, “contractor”, “designer”, “principal contractor”, “principal designer” and “project” have the meanings given in regulation 2(1) of the 2015 Regulations; and;
(b)“construction site” is to be read in accordance with that regulation

The HSE estimates that health and safety law will no longer apply to 1.7 million self-employed people such as novelists, journalists, graphic designers, accountants, confectioners, financial advisers and online traders.