Before 1974 approximately 8 million employees had no legal safety protection at work.
The Health & Safety at Work Act of 1974 provides the legal framework to promote, stimulate and encourage high standards of health and safety in places of work. It protects employees and the public form work activities.
Everyone has a duty to comply with the Act, including employers, employees, trainees, self-employed, manufacturers, suppliers, designers, importers of work equipment.
Employers’ Responsibilities?The Act places a general duty to “ensure so far as is reasonably practicable the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees”.
Employers must comply with the Act. They must:
- Provide and maintain safety equipment and safe systems of work.
- Ensure materials used are properly stored, handled, used and transported.
- Provide information, training, instruction and supervision. Ensure staff are aware of instructions provided by manufacturers and suppliers of equipment.
- Provide a safe place of employment.
- Provide a safe working environment.
- Provide a written safety policy/risk assessment.
- Look after health and safety of others, example public.
- Talk to safety representatives.
An employer is forbidden to charge his/her employees for any measures, which he/she is required to provide in the interests of health and safety, for example, Personal protective equipment.
Please visit the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to find more information about the Health & Safety at Work Act and forthcoming changes to regulations.