February 6, 2020

U.K. Government: Worker Protections Continue Following "Brexit"

The United Kingdom’s Health and Safety Executive reminds employers that their responsibilities to protect workers will remain the same during the transition period following “Brexit,” the U.K.’s formal withdrawal from the European Union. The U.K. left the EU on Jan. 31, 2020, and the transition period during which the EU and the U.K. will negotiate new arrangements for a trade deal will be in place until Dec. 31, 2020. “Brexit Day” follows a June 2016 referendum in which U.K. constituents voted to withdraw from the EU. HSE is the government agency responsible for workplace health and safety in the U.K.

A page on HSE’s website collects the latest guidance on health and safety during the transition period, including information on chemical regulations, work equipment and machinery regulations, and working with explosives.

Further instructions and resources intended to help chemical companies based in Europe contend with Brexit’s effect on the industry are forthcoming from the European Chemicals Agency. ECHA previously urged companies to take action to stay on the EU market after Brexit by continuing to comply with their obligations under the EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals regulation, which requires companies to identify and manage the risks linked to the substances they manufacture and market in the EU; the EU regulation on the classification, labelling, and packaging of substances and mixtures, or CLP; the Biocidal Products Regulation, or BPR; and PIC, the EU regulation concerning the export and import of hazardous chemicals. ECHA has temporarily unpublished some information related to Brexit and will update its website to reflect the new situation soon.