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Operating safely with gas appliances

12 November 2013

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has updated guidance to help individuals using and installing gas appliances to operate safely.

Following a process of extensive consultation, HSE has updated the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) covering safety in the installation and use of gas systems and appliances (L56).

The ACOP was among several that the HSE board agreed would be revised, consolidated or withdrawn in line with a recommendation by Professor Ragnar Löfstedt in his report ‘Reclaiming health and safety for all’.

Following consultations in June 2012 and May 2013, the revised content was agreed by both the HSE board and the minister of state with responsibility for health and safety.

The Regulations deal with the safe installation, maintenance and use of gas systems, including gas fittings and appliances mainly in domestic and commercial premises.

They affect a wide range of people, from those installing, servicing, maintaining or repairing gas appliances and other gas fittings, to suppliers and users of gas.

The significant revisions made include:

  • details of the requirement for all those carrying out gas work to be adequately trained;
  • the removal of the guidance for landlords, with detailed guidance now available on the HSE website;
  • an update of the material on the requirements for appliances and flues;
  • clarification of the definition of gas fitting and gas work;
  • revisions to reflect concerns around flues in voids and update guidance to reflect the introduction of smart meters.

 The revised ACOP can be found on the HSE website at:

 An ACOP provides practical guidance on complying with the general duties of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) or the requirements of goal-setting regulations. ACOPs are not law but do have a special legal status; if the advice in ACOP material is followed in relevant circumstances dutyholders can be confident they are complying with the law. 

The changes will make it easier for employers to understand and meet their legal obligations and so reduce the risks of over compliance. Legal responsibilities to protect workers’ health and safety are not altered by any changes to ACOPs.


Notes to editors

  1. Professor Ragnar Löfstedt’s review of health and safety legislation is available on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) website at
  2. The update of the material on the requirements for appliances and flues is now contained in Appendix 3 (formerly in Appendix 1) of the new ACOP
  3. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.

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