To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the requirement for risk assessments under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/3242) is the same for fishermen as for the general workforce ashore. [HL718]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 apply to all crew on board a fishing vessel irrespective of their contractual status. [HL720]
Although the Health and Safety at Work etc Act and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 regulations do apply to fishermen in certain limited circumstances (eg when unloading vessels in port), the safety of fishermen on fishing vessels at sea is governed by the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 and various sets of merchant shipping and fishing vessel health and safety regulations.
These maritime health and safety regulations, which implement EC health and safety directives, are in the main similar in form to the regulations introduced by the Health and Safety Executive for land-based workers and similarly require assessments of risks to be undertaken by employers albeit that in some instances the risks on fishing vessels are different from those for land-based workers.
In line with the EC health and safety directives, which they implement, these regulations apply to workers. In this context “worker” is generally defined as meaning a person employed under a contract of employment, and includes a trainee or apprentice other than a person who is training in a sail training vessel. This definition does however exclude genuinely self-employed fishermen.