Has Brexit impacted the UK’s health and safety laws?

There were so many complex topics to keep abreast of during the period immediately after Brexit and the Trackplot team thought it would be useful to review and consolidate what the health and safety position now is.

November 9, 2021

In an article for BAGMA (Jan/Feb 2021) Paul Marsh explored the impact of Brexit on our Health & Safety Laws here in the UK. He reassured readers that existing paperwork and Risk Assessments would NOT need to be revised due to us leaving Europe. 

The key principles of Risk Management contained in the H&S at Work Act 1974 and The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 will continue to apply.

Paul Marsh


The primary source of UK health and safety law is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The Act is of British origin, and not European, so it remains as was and is. The main principles that require employers to assess, avoid and reduce workplace risks to their employees should continue without change. 

After Brexit you should continue to manage your business and employees in a proportionate way to reduce risk and protect people, and the environment. Your obligations to protect people’s health and safety will not change with Brexit

Health & Safety Executive

In a summary of health and safety post Brexit, Commodious, the online home of health, safety and compliance courses, offer clarification on the law and it is worth noting that separate rules exist for Northern Ireland.  

All EU law has been copied exactly as it was at 10.59pm on 31 December 2020 and adopted into our own laws. The laws have been amended so that they make sense in that they refer to Great Britain not the EU. However these laws will only have limited application in Northern Ireland. In accordance with the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland, and Northern Ireland will continue to comply with EU law.


What has changed however is the rules and procedures around placing chemicals, civil explosives and work equipment and machinery on the domestic market. 

You can read HSE’s specific guidance with regards to these areas here: 

If this article has prompted you to review your health and safety policies the HSE has a useful guide to Health and Safety basics for your business here: Basics for your business

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