Advance information on new gas safety regulations

19 Jan 2018

Following a lengthy period of consultation throughout 2016 and 2017, The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has updated its Approved Code of Practice (ACOP); setting out regulations around the installation and servicing of gas appliances. We’ve been given access to a draft version of the new L56 guidance document, which, subject to parliamentary approval, will come in to effect from 6th April 2018.

Changes ahead

The new document contains several revisions. Some of the updates fine-tune areas of responsibility for installers themselves, landlords and even the Secretary of State, but there are also changes to the requirements for those involved in training. We have set out a summary of what’s likely to come.

Improvements to Gas Training

Part B regulation 3 – ACOP and guidance on standards of training in gas installation. This information was previously provided in COP20 Standards of training in safe gas installation and applies to all premises including those otherwise excluded from GSUIR

Gas work should only be undertaken:

  • by a person who has successfully completed an industry-recognised training course followed by assessment of competence. Training that leads to assessment of competence in safe gas work should be recognised by the industry’s standards setting body; or
  • in the case of a currently or previously registered person, where they have proved competence through a certification scheme; or
  • for those working at premises that fall outside the scope of the Regulations, by a person who has successfully completed an appropriate full training course followed by assessment of competence.

Training should be of a standard to enable a gas engineer to achieve competence in the safe installation, purging, commissioning, testing, servicing, maintenance, repair, disconnection, modification and dismantling of the gas systems, fittings and appliances with which they are working. This should include an adequate knowledge of:

  1. relevant associated services such as water and electricity; and
  2. the potential for exposure to asbestos; and

  3. the dangers these may give rise to; and

  4. the precautions to take.

Changes for Installers, Landlords and Governance

Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations (GSIUR) deal with the safe installation, maintenance and use of gas systems, including appliances and flues, mainly in domestic and commercial premises. The latest amendments to the regulations introduce changes to the following regulations:

  • Regulation 2(4), which brings the dis-application of compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations fed by a dedicated supply, in line with other industrial premises.
  • Regulation 26, which sets out checks to be made immediately after work has been carried out on a gas appliance. In section (9) there is an amendment to the guidelines for situations where it is not reasonably practicable to examine an appliances operating pressure or heat input. In such instances, the appliance’s combustion performance can be measured instead.
  • Regulation 36(3) and 36A, which detail landlords’ duties in respect of gas safety. This amendment stipulates that each gas appliance and its related flue, in a rental property, should be checked at intervals of no longer than 12 months and that a comprehensive record of the checks be made and kept.  In addition to this a ‘deadline date’ for the next annual check must be given and this date must the last day of the 12-month period going forward.
  • Regulation 40A, a new addition to the regulations, stating that The Secretary of State has a duty to carry out a review of the regulatory provision for the new amendments before 1st April 2023 and at regular intervals, not exceeding 5 years, after that. The assessment must report on the extent to which the new objectives have been achieved, whether they are still appropriate and whether they could be achieved in a manner which involves less onerous regulatory provision.

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