UPDATE Helmets : Sikhs

Please see below a question put by Rt Hon John Spellar MP to Mike Penning MP, the Minister of State for Disabled People at the Department for Works & Pensions and the answer given on 3rd February.

Mr Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to extend to industrial premises the exemption for Sikhs from requirements to wear safety helmets on construction sites.

Mike Penning: As the law currently stands, turban-wearing Sikhs are exempt from wearing head protection in a high hazard industry, construction, but may be required to wear it in lower hazard workplaces. I am seeking to table an amendment to the De-regulation Bill, which is currently before Parliament, to extend this exemption to all workplaces, including industrial premises. The amendment will also extend the limitation on liability for employers to any work situation where a turban-wearing Sikh chooses not to wear head protection. There may be very limited exceptions, such as for specific roles in the emergency services or armed forces. The Health and Safety Executive is currently consulting on the proposals.

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