If you are unsure of your duties under health and safety legislation, contact us and we can give you advice on what you need to do, and how to go about doing it. In the meantime, here are general statutes which you should know about.
- 1Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA)
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in Great Britain, and applies to every business whatever its size or scope (except for those who are self-employed with no other employees whose work does not affect anyone else). It sets out the general duties which employers have towards employees and members of the public, and employees have to themselves and to each other.
Some duties under HASAWA are absolute, that is they must be carried out. Other duties are qualified by the principle of ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’. This means that measures to avoid or reduce risk must be technically possible and that the cost of such measures is proportionate to the risk.
Compliance with HASAWA 1974 will go a long way to ensure that employees, customers, visitors and other parties will be kept healthy and safe in the context of the work carried out by the company. Breach of the Act, or of any Health and Safety legislation, may result in hefty fines or prison sentences for those holding responsible positions in the company.
- 2Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR)
The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 set out more explicitly the ways in which an organisation must comply with HASAWA 1974. Its primary focus is the management of health and safety in the work place using risk assessment and other tools to manage health and safety. It sets out in greater detail than HASAWA the duties of employers and employees.
- 3Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (WHSWR)
The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 cover a wide range of basic health, safety and welfare issues such as ventilation, temperature, lighting and traffic routes. Like HASAWA and MHSWR, these regulations apply to every business whatever its size or scope (other than sites subject to the Construction Design and Management Regulations 2015).
- 4Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRFSO)
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to all organisations in Great Britain and compliance ensures that risk of fire in the workplace is controlled, and that adequate and appropriate fire safety measures are in place to minimise the risk of injury or loss of life should fire occur.
- 5Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 (FAR)
FAR applies to all workplaces and requires every employer to ensure adequate first aid provision for its employees.
- 6Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations 1989 (HSIER)
Stipulates that all employers must display the health and safety law poster where it can be read easily, or provide each worker with a copy of the leaflet.
- 7Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 (CMCHA)
This act is not part of health and safety law but is relevant since it clarifies the criminal liabilities of companies where serious failures in the management of health and safety result in a fatality. Organisations may be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of serious management failures. Prosecutions are of the corporate body, not individuals, although individuals may still be prosecuted under health and safety law.
The Management Standards define the characteristics, or culture, of an organisation where the risks from work related stress are being effectively managed and controlled. The Management Standards cover six key areas of work design that, if not properly managed, are associated with poor health and well-being, lower productivity and increased sickness absence. In other words, […]