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Local Authority Officers- Species identification.
Basically there are several reasons why an officer of a Local Authority may want to pay your company a visit. Some reasons are directly to do with the law on explosives/pyrotechnics safety. Some are to do with health and safety of your premises. Some may be to do with ‘environmental health’ issues such as noise and nuisance. The first thing to remember is that there is more than one type of Local Authority in some parts of the UK and so they can’t always all act together to pay you a visit. One type of officer may well have more than one reason for needing to see you. There are many Regulations enforced by local authorities, but they come into three main categories:

Fireworks, pyrotechnics and all that stuff.
As you will be aware there are new Regulations produced by the Health and Safety Executive on the manufacture and storage of explosives. The Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations came into force on 26th April 2005 and give responsibilities to Local Authorities (and some Fire and Rescue Authorities)for licensing and registering premises storing explosives. I will not go into the provisions of the Regulations here, but you may well get a visit from either a Trading Standards or Fire Brigade Officer asking about your storage and the conditions in which you keep explosives. They will be acting under the MSER Regulations 2005, which replaced the Explosives Act 1875. They are interested in you from a storage perspective and issue you with your licence/registration under MSER 2005. You pay your fees to these people!

Taking Precautions
You could get a visit from a Fire Brigade Officer asking about fire precautions and dangerous substances storage generally. Again these Regulations are primarily about the safety of the storage of the explosives and other products in the place in which they are stored. The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 and Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 deal with all workplaces and assess risk and hazards in those places. They are not principally about explosives safety or storage as such, but all workplaces and all types of dangerous substances.

Things that go bang in the night
The third sort of local authority visitor you may get is an Environmental Health Officer, responding to, or making enquiries about noise and debris as a result of setting off pyrotechnics. They may be doing this as part of their duties as enforcers of health and safety in commercial premises or in response to complaints of noise, nuisance, debris etc. This will be enforcement under the Noise Act 1996.

Lastly, it is possible that you might get a visit from trading standards about supply of pyrotechnics to members of the public. Whilst pyrotechnics and fireworks are not one and the same thing, the similarities between them and the fact that in some cases these may be being supplied to members of the public may lead to enquiries under the Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997. It is less likely but not impossible. The Regulations deal with supply to members of the public, and to under 18’s in particular.

reproduced by kind permission of...

Alison Edwards
Policy Officer
Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS)

Posted by admin on 16 May 2005 - 16:38:5110559 Reads - Print
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