HSE: Transition period: chemicals update

This bulletin contains information on how the regulation of chemicals will change after the UK transition period ends.

Updated guidance has been published for the BPR, CLP and PIC and UK REACH regimes.

The Northern Ireland Protocol was designed as part of the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland, whilst ensuring that the UK could leave the EU as a whole.

Under the Protocol, EU Regulations will continue to directly apply in Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.

The transition guidance has been updated to detail these provisions. To see what the changes mean for NI businesses visit the HSE webpages:

  • For the updated guidance on the BPR regime.
  • For the updated guidance on the CLP regime.
  • For the updated guidance on the PIC regime.
  • For the updated guidance on the UK REACH regime.

The GB guidance for the PPP regime remains valid. Further updates to the PPP guidance will be published in the coming weeks.

UK Transition webinar – 2 November, 11.00am

Join HSE, BEIS, DEFRA and HMRC for a free introductory webinar Monday 2 November at 11.00am, in which we discuss changes and actions you should take to prepare your business for new rules from January 2021 covering the chemical regimes on Biocides, CLP, UK REACH and PIC.

Register here.

Get access to HSE’s Transition period chemicals podcasts

HSE will be hosting a series of podcasts in the coming months to provide more information on the changes to how chemicals will be regulated from 1 January 2021.

Subscribe here for free access and help your business prepare for the end of the transition period.

HSE: RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19

HSE has published guidance on when and how you should report coronavirus incidents under RIDDOR.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) apply to all sectors and workplaces in Great Britain.

You should only make a report under RIDDOR, relating to coronavirus, when:

  • an accident or incident at work has, or could have, led to the release or escape of coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence
  • a worker has been diagnosed as having COVID-19 attributed to an occupational exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a case of disease
  • a worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus

Read more: RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19

New health and safety online courses coming soon

ALFED health and safety courses

ALFED will be launching a new series of health and safety online courses. These courses are all CPD accredited and certified by various accrediting agencies. All of these courses will be fully online and the course material will be available to the candidate for 1 year after the completion of the certification period. The courses will include:

• Manual Handling
• Basic Fire Safety Awareness
• Fire Marshal
• Fire Extinguisher
• Working at Height
• Control of Substances Hazardous to Health
• Working Safely
• Workplace Health and Safety
• Working in Confined Space
• Introduction to Risk Assessment
• Slips, Trips and Falls
• Forklift Truck Supervisor Training
• And more

If you are interested in any of the above courses, please contact our training and education manager, Kathy Romback, for more information: email: k_romback@alfed.org.uk.

EMR Metal Recycling is supporting the Transport for London scrappage scheme

EMR, a world leading metal recycler, is supporting the Transport for London (TFL) scrappage scheme at six sites across the capital.

EMR Metal Recycling has Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATF) in Brentford, Canning Town, Mitcham, Neasden, Wandsworth and Willesden which are supporting the TFL scrappage scheme. Offering a complete service, EMR will collect the vehicle, produce the Certificate of Destruction and recycle the vehicle in a responsible manner.

The TFL scrappage scheme, launched by the Mayor of London, enables those on a low income and with a registered disability to scrap their polluting vehicle in exchange for £2000 which can be put towards another, greener vehicle, towards alternative modes of transport such as a push bike or public transport or you can simply save the money for a special occasion.

With the daily charge for entering London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in a non-compliant vehicle set at £12.50 (that’s a cost of over £4500 a year if you are entering daily) and with the expansion of the ULEZ beyond central London in October 2021, the is no better time to swap to a greener vehicle. With the help of initiatives such as the TFL scrappage scheme, the introduction of the ULEZ and greener transport options, pollution in London has been reduced by more than 40%.[1]

In a service which is being rolled out across the country our EMR Vehicle Recycling division offers a complete scrappage service. A dedicated website allows customers to get a quote for their vehicle in 3 clicks, all they need is their vehicle registration and postcode. There are no hidden charges and EMR promise to pay the price quoted. From here a customer can also book a collection by one of our friendly drivers, should they not be able to drop the vehicle off at their local site. All collections are carried out contact-free.

EMR will register the vehicles destruction with the DVLA, sharing the Certification of Destruction with the customer as the vehicle is accepted. As an ATF we have proven capability in carrying out the depollution process and storing vehicle components in compliance with strict environmental legislation.

Dan Gannon, EMR ELV Specialist said: “This scheme offers a great chance to swap your vehicle for a greener alternative. At EMR we are passionate about environmental protection and we are proud to be able to support our customers in recycling their non-ULEZ emission compliant vehicles. Our ATF’s, not only in London but up and down the country, follow a strict set of procedures to ensure minimum environmental impact when recycling vehicles.”

Over the past decade EMR has invested over £350 million in new technologies and partnerships which enable us to recycle 95% of any ELV sold to us.

[1] https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone/ways-to-meet-the-standard

Cash flow is critical to your business – insurance can help


In these challenging times insurance buyers are looking for proactive ways in which to support their businesses’ cash flow pressures.

We are consequently working with clients to look at a range of areas which can contribute. Each client and industry will of course have different nuances to consider, and therefore any action plan will need to be reviewed and agreed individually based on the specific circumstances and risk profile of the business.

Some core example areas where savings could be assessed include:

  • Considering registering unused vehicles in a client’s Motor fleet as off road via SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification) declarations. We have secured premium savings of up to 75% reduction in vehicle rate and even higher if accidental damage is removed and perils are restricted to fire and theft cover only.
  • Reviewing the impact of furloughing staff in Employers’ Liability coverage and considering adjustment mechanisms in the policies. It is preferable to agree now with insurers how policies should reflect furloughing staff to risk exposures and premiums. We would recommend that agreement is sought to exclude furlough payments from end of year declarations. Even if policies are currently non-adjustable it is worth a discussion with insurers to seek agreement to amend the basis of cover. For example, at least one insurer has now agreed to make all policies adjustable at year end and to exclude furlough payments from end of year declarable wageroll.
  • Considering whether to re-categorise staff during the period that they are not performing manual tasks. If manual employees are currently unable to perform functions and are effectively undertaking clerical functions then it is worth agreeing to recategorise them as clerical employees during the period they are not performing their usual function.
  • Discussing with your broker the impact on policy limits, sums insured and value estimates under current policy arrangements, e.g. marine sendings, turnover estimates. Whilst many policies are written on a flat basis it is worth discussing with your broker and insurers to see if the basis of premium can be reconsidered. In extreme circumstances it may be preferable to invoke cancellation clauses and rewriting policies on updated estimates or on an adjustable basis.
  • Consideration as to whether to adjust or temporarily remove unnecessary covers where appropriate / possible, e.g. Travel insurance.
  • Clients which have a Captive insurance arrangement can explore a range of potential supports such as premium holidays, suspending non-essential policies and utilising surplus funds in the Captive to offer a loan back to the parent company.

We would however caution against making radical or sweeping changes to business interruption covers, without fully reviewing recovery plans and projections in the future, as businesses operational models evolve rapidly.

Other areas to consider whilst not having an immediate impact on premiums include:

  • Unoccupancy clauses in property programmes – ensuring agreement has been sought to extend any unoccupancy warranty provision to ensure full cover remains in place.
  • The impact on engineering inspections – ensuring that your business remains in compliance with statutory obligations (it is likely that a back log in inspections may result in delays in getting inspections carried out even after restrictions are lifted).
  • Cyber exposures – how working from home impacts on Cyber exposures and controls around corporate accounting.
  • Directors’ and Officers’ Liability (D&O) – this was a tough market even before the Pandemic. Senior Management will be under increasing scrutiny during and after COVID-19 so it is important to maintain a robust D&O policy wherever possible.

Further details can be found by visiting our COVID-19 Pandemic Information Hub at:


Navigating a way forward

The Gallagher Major Risks Practice (MRP) is uniquely positioned to assist in all areas as regards insurance. Under one roof, our broking and client team, together with a Mergers & Acquisitions unit and Litigation unit, are able to deliver for you in these challenging times. We are ready to support you and your organisation to reassess and redefine a way forward.

Our objectives will be to:

  • Identify critical areas of the insurance programme where adjustments can be made to contribute positively to cash flow in these challenging times.
  • Set these out within an Executive Summary report which can be shared with your management teams.
  • Deliver confidence that these changes are balanced against the core valuable areas of your insurance programme being maintained and enhanced.
  • Ensure that all of the above reflects your risks, risk appetite and risk tolerance.

We would welcome the opportunity to engage with your management to highlight areas where we can add value to you based on your priorities for the business going forward.

If you would like to discuss further, please get in touch with Mike Ellis, Executive Director at Major Risks Practice: Mike_Ellis@ajg.com


Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office: Spectrum Building, 7th Floor, 55, Blythswood Street, Glasgow, G2 7AT. Registered in Scotland. Company Number: SC108909


Announcement – Changes to the Job Support Scheme

Last week the Chancellor announced changes to how the Job Support Scheme will work once it comes into effect from 1st November.

Croner can help you to understand the changes, what they mean for your business, and how to handle them. Through your ALFED membership you have access to free, specialist advice from their expert team. Please contact Margaret Lane at ALFED for details: m_lane@alfed.org.uk.

What’s Changed?

The rules on the original version of the scheme have now changed – the element of it that helps employers who can stay open. The element to help businesses who have to close has not changed.

Here, Croner provide a breakdown and explain the key changes announced:

Old Rules

  • Employees have to work for at least one third (33%) of their normal working hours, which the employer pays for
  • The employer also pays the wages for one third (33%) of the unworked hours
  • The Government pay the wages for one third (33%) of the unworked hours, to a cap of £697.92 per month

New Rules

  • Employees have to work for at least one fifth (20%) of their normal working hours, which the employer pays for
  • The employer also pays the wages for 5% of the unworked hours
  • The Government pay the wages for 62% of the unworked hours, to a cap of £1,541.75 per month

Even so far into the pandemic, new hurdles are continuously being thrown in the way of businesses as the number of cases fluctuate significantly.

EM-Powered – an invaluable energy management portal

EM-Powered is designed to enable customers to accurately keep track of their own business energy consumption and ultimately have a better understanding of how this impacts on their business.

Now fully operational for nearly two years, the Energy Management-designed energy monitoring and reporting portal helps companies to accurately compile an instant overview of their organisation’s actual business energy consumption, predicted business energy consumption and peak loads in an easily downloadable report.

Especially useful for multi-site operators and energy-intensive industries, the portal can be adapted to suit individual company’s needs and is seen as an invaluable tool in energy procurement strategy by those who have enjoyed its many benefits.

These include:

  • Accurate financial reporting – Budget management tools, cost and consumption break downs. Management reports can also be downloaded for an overview of all activities. Ideal for board-level reporting.
  • Market Forward Pricing – We provide live forward and historic market trading prices. These prices can then be compared between specific dates or, alternatively, can be expanded to show a high-level overview. The portal provides the ability to set multiple price notification triggers and alerts. These alerts will then be either sent via SMS or email to the desired user. Invaluable for flex contract management.
  • Seasonal Comparison Tables – Market charges can then be compared in a table, giving the customer an accurate and concise format to measure market fluctuations. The system provides you with the current position, with a comparison to the previous day, week, month, quarter, six months and one-year prices. In addition, you have the ability to choose specific dates, forward or backward, to compare prices over any given time.
  • Market Intelligence Updates – Customers are provided with a daily market intelligence update. The portal will update three times a day providing them with the live day ahead, the month ahead and the two-month ahead prices. There will be a short commentary of why prices have fallen/risen, along with prices on Brent Crude and EU ETS Carbon, as both have an impact on UK wholesale electricity cost.
  • Daily Updates – Daily news updates are provided within the portal which gives an understanding of current geopolitical factors which may influence the market.

Source: Energy Management

Hydrogen Embrittlement Testing for Aluminium

Hydrogen cracking, also called ‘delayed cracking’ is a challenge for the joining and performance of welded structures. This cracking takes different forms depending on the exact source of the hydrogen.

Hydrogen can cause a loss of ductility or a reduction of load-carrying ability as well as catastrophic brittle failure far below the usual yield or design strength. TWI has experience in helping prevent hydrogen assisted cracking in materials including aluminium and you can find out more here: Hydrogen Embrittlement Testing for Aluminium

EU/International Recognition of PCN certification (UKAS Accreditation)

The British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (BINDT) has become aware of rumours circulating suggesting that PCN certification will no longer be recognised from the beginning of 2021 (i.e. end of the Brexit transition period), which will impact upon the acceptability of certificates issued. There appears to be some confusion about the areas where recognition will cease, and we wish to clarify the situation, as follows.

The PCN Scheme is an international programme for the certification of conformance of non-destructive testing personnel which satisfies the requirements of a number of European and international standards.

ISO 9712 is the internationally recognised and widely accepted standard for qualification and 3rd party certification of NDT personnel and the UK’s departure from the EU does not affect the validity of PCN certificates issued – PCN certification will continue to be widely accepted and highly respected throughout the industrialised world.

Brexit may have an impact on some UKAS activities, for example in relation to CE marking, however this will not affect PCN and UKAS will remain a full member of European and International Mutual Recognition Agreements (such as the European cooperation for Accreditation, International Accreditation Forum and International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation), which means that all UKAS accredited certificates and reports (with the exception of those related to EU Regulations/Directives and Schemes) shall continue to be recognised within Europe and around the world.

There will be no impact on ISO standards including ISO 9712 as ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies (ISO member bodies) and has no different affiliation to Europe or any other country including the UK.

PCN will thus continue to be an acceptable certification scheme meeting all the necessary requirements to be accepted in any country that recognises ISO standards.

European Pressure Equipment Directive (PED)

Please note that the following statement only applies to personnel using their PCN ISO 9712 certification to carry out non-destructive tests on permanent joints for pressure equipment in categories III and IV in accordance with section 3.1.3 of schedule 2 under the European Pressure Equipment Directive (PED).

PCN scheme accreditation covers certification according to international standard ISO 9712:2012 – Non-destructive Testing: Qualification and certification of NDT personnel and the British Institute of NDT is a Certification Body accredited to ISO 17024.

ISO 9712 is the internationally recognised and widely accepted standard for qualification and 3rd party certification of NDT personnel and the UK’s departure from the EU does not affect the validity of PCN certificates issued – PCN certification will continue to be widely accepted and highly respected throughout the industrialised world.

In addition, PCN continues to be a signatory to and registered under the International Committee for NDT (ICNDT) international Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) and also the European MRA that is managed by the European Federation for Non-Destructive Testing (EFNDT).

During the time that the UK was a member of the European Union (EU), BINDT was appointed as a Recognised Third-Party Organisation (RTPO) under regulation 20 of the European Pressure Equipment Regulations 1999, which implement the provisions of Directive 2014/68/EU of the European Parliament concerning pressure equipment.

The scope of the appointment was for the approval of personnel to carry out non-destructive tests on permanent joints for pressure equipment in categories III and IV in accordance with section 3.1.3 of Schedule 2 to the Regulations.

Amid the continuing negotiations about the UK’s future relationship with the EU, there is one thing we know for sure: the UK will no longer be part of the EU and unless there is a specific agreement or further transition period, UK bodies will not be in a position to perform conformity assessment tasks pursuant to Union product legislation. At the time of writing, the outcomes of the current UK-EU negotiations are eagerly awaited, particularly given the added challenge of the current Covid crisis.

Please refer to the UKAS weblink for clarification.