Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR)

There have been changes to the reporting requirements for RIDDOR. RIDDOR puts duties on employers, the self-employed and people in control of work premises (the Responsible Person) to report serious workplace accidents, occupational diseases and specified dangerous occurrences (near misses).
From the 6th April 2012 the reporting requirement in RIDDOR for over-three day injuries has been revised. The reporting point has increased from more than three days to more than seven days incapacitation. (Incapacitation means that the worker is absent or is unable to do work that they would reasonably be expected to do as part of their normal work.)
Under RIDDOR the Responsible Per is still required keep a record of all over- three day injuries. (This would normally be recorded in the Accident Book)
The deadline by which the over-seven day injury must be reported has also increased to 15 days from the day of the accident.

Building your own home news

It was recently and officially announced by the Housing Minister Grant Shapps that new support is now available to give people advice and support when intending to build their own home.
Many people see the idea of building their own home as an opportunity to design and build a home to suit their own requirements and to save costs.
The news comes on the back of reports which suggest that there are an increasing amount of mortgages available for self-build.
Good advice and guidance can be found at the new Portal at www.selfbuildportal.org.uk.

National Planning Policy Framework unveiled

The National Planning Policy Framework is now in force. The Planning Minister Greg Clark stated that the new framework:
• made it clear that the local plan was the keystone of the planning regime
• was crystal clear that sustainable development embraces social and environmental as well as economic objectives and does so in a balanced way
• referred explicitly to the five principles of the UK Sustainable Development Strategy
• went further than ever before and is clear that councils should look for net improvements on all dimensions of sustainability
• made explicit that the presumption in favour of sustainable development works through, not against, local plans
• made it clear that relevant policies – such as those protecting the Green Belt, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, National Parks and other areas – cannot be overridden by the presumption
• recognised the intrinsic value and beauty of the countryside (whether specifically designated or not)
• made explicit what was always implicit: that councils’ policies must encourage brownfield sites to be brought back into use
• underlined the importance of town centres, while recognising that businesses in rural communities should be free to expand
• embraced a localist approach to creating a buffer of housing supply over and above five years, and in the use of windfall sites
• allowed councils to protect back gardens – those precious urban oases
• ensured that playing fields continue to benefit from that same protection that they do currently.

New asbestos regulations

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 will come into force on 6 April 2012 and will updates the previous asbestos regulations. The changes are moinor and include some non-licensed work with asbestos which now have additional requirements, including notification of work, medical surveillance and record keeping. All other requirements remain unchanged.