Last reviewed 9 March 2022
While there is no legal requirement to have a legal register, companies often use them as part of management systems aligned with international standards. Caroline Raine explains what a legal register is and how it can be a practical tool that improves efficiency and helps to reduce costly mistakes.
What is a legal register?
A legal register is a list of legal instruments, whether legislation, regulation or otherwise, which apply uniquely to a given operation. It may include Acts, Directives, Orders, Regulations and relevant guidance documents covering Europe, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It is very unlikely that two companies will have the same legal register. The activities of the company will dictate which legal instruments should be contained in the legal register. For example, a legal register for a chemical manufacturer will be very different from a chemical distributor or logistics company.
Compiling and maintaining a legal register
At first glance you might think it is a relatively straightforward task to compile a legal register. One can easily go onto the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website and obtain a list of regulations. The list you would find is the Statutory Instruments owned and enforced by HSE/local authorities. The HSE states “this list was first produced in 2006 and has been regularly updated in conjunction with Common Commencement dates. Wherever possible, a link has been made to the full text of the legislation on the legislation.gov.uk website.”
And this is a great starting point, but by no means is it complete. For example, the list does not include the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009, as amended in 2011 or the Carriage of Dangerous Goods (Amendment) Regulations 2019. This is because the Department for Transport (DfT) is responsible for this legislation. And if you are supplying chemicals into Europe, you will need to comply with more than just the UK regulations, The Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation ((EC) 1272/2008) and Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) among others, may also need to be considered.
Maintaining a legal register can also be challenging. It needs to be kept up to date with amendments and take account of differences between jurisdictions. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all share some regulations, but equally also have their own!
A legal register can be self-built, be subcontracted to a consultant or may even be web based. All have their advantages and disadvantages. The Croner-i Chemical-inform legal register is perfect as it is a combination of all!
The Croner-i Chemical-inform legal register has been created from lists of legislation, with crucial input from employees and consultants who work in the relevant areas. It is not computer generated, it has been created by experts to give you the peace of mind that it is complete and will be monitored and updated so you don’t have to worry. The lists are web based and you have the option to create as many lists as you like, perhaps for different operations, or sites. And you can make them specific to you and your company by removing any regulations that are perhaps not relevant. Hence the lists are created by you, consultants and web based: the best of all worlds!
The lists can then become live working lists that are regularly updated so you have full confidence and visibility when things change. Not to mention the fact that you now have plenty of time available to focus on the things that will help your business grow and flourish, reassured that you have an up-to-date accurate legal register helping you to ensure compliance.
Creating a legal register
When creating a legal register, the first thing is to name the legal register. This name is for your reference so you may choose to name it using the site, the date, the type of regulations or the sector. The options are endless and yours to decide.
Once you have named it, you then need to select from the dropdown the jurisdiction (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, European Union) and then, again from the dropdown, the subject area(s).
There are several options, namely:
Accidents and Disease Reporting
Chemicals and the Environment
Hazards — Physical
Hazards — Chemical
Hazards — Biological
Supply of chemicals
Systems of control
Transport of dangerous goods
Once these three options have been selected, you can create your legal register and you will be provided with a list of suggested legislation, and from there you have the ability to add the legislation or remove any that you feel are not relevant. When adding the legislation to your legal register, you can give it a status: compliant, partially compliant, not compliant or pending review. This will help you to prioritise those that need auctioning.
Creating, maintaining and monitoring legal registers can be time-consuming and requires specialist knowledge.
Croner-i Chemical-inform legal registers create the perfect solution giving you peace of mind and regulatory compliance.
The lists can be bespoke and have multiple lists for different operations or sites allows flexibility.
The Croner-i Chemical-inform legal register is a user-friendly management tool that helps you track compliance with the relevant regulations.