Safety Legislation

Health and Safety Legislation

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974

The Act was the start of modern legislation to govern Health Safety and Welfare in the workplace. The Act was a complete departure from previous legislation in that it covered essentially everyone at work and it was based on self-regulation by the employers. It also required that both employers and employees worked together to create a safe working environment. Twenty-six years ago this was a revolutionary departure from the proscriptive legislation previously in place.

The Act was an enabling act, which allowed regulations to be drawn into its 'umbrella' without formally going through the House of Commons chamber. Hence previous legislation could be modified and incorporated easily under the Act and new regulations could be added. As a result of European Directives and their incorporation into national law, many detailed regulations were added to the Act, particularly in the late'80s and early '90s. This commenced with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, which for the first time required written risk assessments to be carried out on all hazardous substances used in the work place, and this was followed by legislation covering all activity in the workplace

  • Management of Health and Safety at Work
  • Workplace Health Safety and Welfare
  • Display Screen Equipment
  • Manual Handling
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Safe Use of Work Equipment

All of this legislation is based on the principal of Risk Assessment and, as with all 'LAW', failure to comply results in the possibility of penalty.

All employers MUST:

1. Have a Management System for Health Safety and Welfare

2. Have a written Safety Policy and arrangements (If they employ more than five persons)

3. Appoint competent assistance

4. Carry out and record risk assessments

5. Have adequate emergency arrangements

6. Supervise and train their staff

The law continues to change, more regulations are being introduced which are social in character and now the spectre of CORPORATE KILLING is raising its head

Qualified, professional assistance is necessary to assist the employer to find his way through this minefield.