Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Fourth Report


APPENDIX IV

Memorandum by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

MERCHANT SHIPPING AND FISHING VESSELS (MANUAL HANDLING OPERATIONS)

REGULATIONS 1998 (S.I. 1998/2857)

The Committee has requested a memorandum on the following points:

(1)  Explain the purpose and effect of regulation 3(2)'s applying itself and regulation 1 (as well as the other specified regulations) to non-United Kingdom ships when in United Kingdom waters.

The purpose and effect of regulation 3(2)'s applying itself and regulation 1 (as well as the other specified regulations) to non-United Kingdom ships when in United Kingdom waters is to meet the requirement, contained in the Merchant Shipping (Minimum Standards) Convention 1976 (International Labour Organisation Convention 147)(Cmnd 7189), to apply minimum safety standards to non-United Kingdom ships in relation to manual handling operations. By article 4 of that Convention the application of such standards to non-United Kingdom ships is to be limited (to the extent now provided in regulations 11 to 13). The Department regrets that implementation of ILO 147 was not mentioned in the Explanatory Note, and apologises for its omission.

(2)  Explain whether the power to detain the ship is intended to be available where the non-compliance with the requirements of the Regulations consists only in the worker failing to "make full and proper use of any system of work provided for his use by his employer in compliance with regulation 5(2)(b)" [regulation 6]. If so, explain what justifies the availability of this sanction for such a default.

It was decided as a matter of policy that the power to detain the ship should be available if a worker fails to make full and proper use of any system of work provided by his employer in compliance with regulation 5(2)(b). The power to detain is not to be exercised unreasonably (regulation 10) and compensation may be awarded in connection with invalid detention (regulation 13). The Department recognises that failure by a worker to comply with a safe system of work would normally be dealt with as a disciplinary matter. However, if, by failing to comply, the worker was putting at serious risk the health and safety of other workers, the power of detention could be needed. If the ship were to sail without the deficiency being remedied, the UK authorities would be unable to take effective preventative action.

  (3)  In regulation 13, explain to what provision the reference to an "order" of detention refers.

The inclusion of the words "or order" in regulation 13 is an error. The Department apologises to the Committee and undertakes to remove them at the first suitable opportunity.

17th December 1998


 
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