New safety guidelines have been introduced to help people use and install gas appliances.
The updated rules from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) deal with the safe installation, maintenance and use of gas systems and appliances in domestic and commercial properties.
They will apply to those who install, service, maintain or repair gas appliances and other gas fittings and are also designed to help the suppliers and users of gas.
Approved Code of Practice
The HSE decided to update its Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) for gas appliances in line with recommendations from Professor Ragnar Lofstedt in his report Reclaiming Health and Safety for All.
In a bid to reduce the risk of gas-related work accidents, the ACOP includes detailed guidance on the requirements for all those carrying out gas work to be adequately trained.
Meanwhile, the old guidance for landlords has been removed, with a new in-depth version available on the HSE website.
The new rules also include: an update of the material on the requirements for appliances and flues; clarification of the definition of gas fitting and gas work, and revisions to reflect concerns around flues in voids and the introduction of smart meters.
ACOPs provide practical guidance on complying with the general duties of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA).
The guides are not law, but they do have a special legal status. If ACOP advice is followed in relevant circumstances, then duty holders can be confident they are complying with the law.
According to the HSE, the latest changes will make it easier for employers to understand and meet their legal obligations.
Legal responsibilities to protect workers’ health and safety are not altered by any changes to ACOPs.
For anyone thinking of making a work-related injury claim, Accident Advice Helpline can offer expert legal advice and support, call us free on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile phone.
Date Published: November 13, 2013
Author: David Brown