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Occupational Health and Safety Updates: 12 Month Review


Occupational health and safety (OHS) is a critical area of compliance for businesses, ensuring the welfare of employees while maintaining operational efficiency. With new legislation and updates emerging, it is essential for businesses, particularly those operating in the UK and Ireland, to stay informed and compliant. Here, we explore recent changes to legislation and guidelines relevant to OHS and how they integrate with ISO 45001, the international standard for occupational health and safety management systems, as well as how they impact UK businesses. Scroll down for a Quick Look at some recent OHS items and how they are changing the health and safety landscape for businesses.

health and safety updates

Key additions to OHS guidance and legislation

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Carcinogens, Mutagens and Reprotoxic Substances) Regulations 2024 (Ireland):

  • Overview: These regulations expand protections for workers from risks related to exposure to carcinogens, mutagens, and reprotoxic substances in the workplace.
  • Impact on OHS Landscape: Introduces stricter exposure limits and broader definitions of hazardous substances, significantly enhancing worker protection in industries dealing with chemical agents.
  • Business Implications: Companies must assess and control exposure, provide adequate training, and health surveillance, and maintain records of exposure incidents. Integrating these requirements with ISO 45001 helps in systematically managing these risks and documenting compliance.


ISO 45003 Psychological Health and Safety at Work:

  • Overview: Although not legislation, ISO 45003 provides guidelines on managing psychological health in the workplace, including prevention, identification, and management of psychosocial risks.
  • Impact on OHS Landscape: Puts a spotlight on mental health at work, guiding employers to create safer and healthier work environments that acknowledge psychological well-being.
  • Business Implications: Adopting ISO 45003 can help businesses fulfil their duty of care for psychological health, complementing the physical health and safety measures outlined in ISO 45001.


The Pressure Equipment (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 2024:

  • Overview: These regulations amend existing safety standards for the design, manufacture, and conformity assessment of pressure equipment and assemblies.
  • Impact on OHS Landscape: Updates are intended to align with technological advances and new safety insights, ensuring higher protection standards against pressure-related accidents.
  • Business Implications: Businesses using or manufacturing pressure equipment must review and update their procedures and safety systems to comply with the new regulations, ensuring integration with the ISO 45001 management processes.


The Merchant Shipping (Special Measures to Enhance Maritime Safety) Regulations 2024:

  • Overview: Introduces enhanced safety measures for maritime operations, focusing on areas such as vessel integrity, crew training, and emergency preparedness.
  • Impact on OHS Landscape: Increases safety standards for shipping operations, potentially reducing maritime accidents.
  • Business Implications: Shipping companies must adopt these new measures into their safety management systems, aligning operational checks and training programs with ISO 45001 to ensure continuous improvement and compliance.


The Health and Safety and Nuclear (Fees) (Amendment) and Gas Safety (Miscellaneous Amendment) Regulations 2024:

  • Overview: Amends existing regulations to update fees and introduce new safety requirements for the nuclear and gas sectors.
  • Impact on OHS Landscape: Adjusts the financial and operational burden of compliance, reflecting the changing risks and technologies in these sectors.
  • Business Implications: Nuclear and gas businesses need to adjust their financial models and safety protocols to meet these updated regulations, integrating these changes into their ISO 45001-compliant OHS management systems.

Integration with ISO 45001

To align these legislative updates with ISO 45001, businesses should undertake the following key tasks:

  • Risk Assessment and Compliance Auditing: Regularly update risk assessments to reflect new legislative requirements and conduct compliance audits.
  • Training and Awareness: Ensure staff are trained on the new regulations and understand their roles in maintaining compliance.
  • Documentation and Record Keeping: Maintain thorough documentation and records of compliance efforts, including training, risk assessments, and incident handling, as required by ISO 45001.
  • Continuous Improvement: Use insights from compliance activities and audits to drive continuous improvement in OHS practices.


Staying informed and compliant with the latest OHS legislation is crucial for businesses to ensure the safety and well-being of their workforce and to meet international standards like ISO 45001. By proactively integrating these new legislative requirements into their OHS management systems, businesses not only adhere to legal and ethical standards but also promote a culture of safety and continuous improvement. This proactive approach is essential for sustaining business operations and protecting employees in an ever-evolving regulatory environment.