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Industry and legal updates

Recent developments in environmental, health and safety management

HSE strategy

In the light of reduced budgets, the HSE strategy will be to concentrate inspections in high risk industries such as construction, waste and recycling, and areas of manufacturing which are high risk e.g. molten and base metal manufacture.

HSE plan to recover all of the costs of an inspection/investigation at which a serious, material breach in standards is diagnosed and a requirement to rectify is formally made, together with the cost of any follow-up work.

Businesses that are in compliance with the law will not be liable for any kind of charge as a result of an HSE inspection and there will be no recovery in relation to purely technical breaches.

An appeal system will be operated by HSE in relation to any disputes over cost recovery.


Recent prosecutions include:

A property developer has been handed multiple suspended prison sentences for failing to identify the presence of asbestos before allowing contractors to start renovations at a nightclub in Wales.

Waste regulations

Waste (England and Wales) Regulations SI 2011/988.  Requires businesses to apply the waste management hierarchy, introduces a two-tier system for waste carrier and broker registration, amends the hazardous waste regulations and excludes some categories of waste from waste controls.

Registering as a waste carrier, broker or dealer

The regulations introduce a two-tier system for waste carrier, broker and dealer registration.

Upper tier registration

You need to register as an upper tier carrier or broker if you want to carry, broker or deal in other people's controlled waste, unless you are in one of the lower tier categories listed below. You also need to register as an upper tier carrier if you carry your own construction or demolition waste. Controlled waste includes commercial, industrial, household and hazardous waste.

If you are currently registered with the Environment Agency as a waste carrier or broker, you do not need to do anything. However, the Environment Agency will automatically add the ability to be a dealer to your existing registration. When your waste carrier or broker certificate is due to be renewed, it will be replaced by an upper tier waste certificate.

Upper tier registration lasts for three years, the same as waste carrier or broker registration currently. You will have to pay a fee to register or renew your registration.

Lower tier registration

You need to register as a lower tier carrier if you only carry, broker or deal in:

  • animal by-products
  • waste from mines and quarries
  • waste from agricultural premises.

You also need to register as a lower tier carrier if you carry, broker or deal in other people's waste and are:

  • a waste collection, disposal or regulation authority
  • a charity or voluntary organisation.


From 1 October 2011, whenever you pass waste on to someone else, declare on the waste transfer note, that you have applied the waste management hierarchy.

The regulations also introduce a new category, H13 Sensitizing, to the list of properties defining waste as hazardous. We need to check whether any of your common waste contains sensitisers and so should be disposed of as hazardous waste.

Sensitizing substances cause hypersensitization, ie the substance will cause adverse effects if you inhale it or it. E.g. those with risk phrases

  • R42 May cause sensitization by inhalation.
  • R43 May cause sensitization by skin contact.

Check yours MSDS of substances being used currently.

From the end of December 2013 we will  need to register as a lower tier carrier if we normally and regularly carry controlled waste produced by your own business, other than construction or demolition waste.

The regulations also require the separate collection of waste paper, metal, plastic and glass from 1 January 2015.

Waste oil

If you use waste lubricating oil to produce processed fuel oil for uses such as firing kilns and boilers it is no longer classed as waste, so waste controls won't apply. According to a new waste oil protocol.

Last Modified: May 14 2011