Who Has Legal Duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
The HSWA 1974 is mainly applied by the HSE. However, local authorities and other bodies such as local fire protection services may also investigate alleged violations of the legislation. The law establishes general principles for the management of health and safety at work and allows for the creation of specific requirements through regulations adopted as legal instruments or a code of conduct. For example, the Control of Hazardous Substances to Health Regulations, 2002 (COSHH), the Occupational Health and Safety Management Regulations, 1999, the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations, 1992 and the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations, 1981 are legal instruments that set out detailed requirements. The Act also aims to streamline the existing complex and confusing legal system (Article 1(2)). Since the United Kingdom`s accession to the European Union (EU) in 1972, many health and safety regulations have had to comply with European Union law, and legal instruments have been adopted under the law to implement EU directives. In particular, the law is the main means of complying with Directive 89/391/EEC on health and safety at work.  Further important amendments were made to Section 6, Obligations relating to objects and substances used at work, by the Consumer Protection Act 1987 in order to implement Directive 85/374/EEC on product liability.  Everyone is required to comply with the HSWA 1974, including employers, employees, trainees, self-employed persons, manufacturers, suppliers, designers and importers of work equipment. The law defines the general obligations for employers, employees, contractors, suppliers of goods and substances for use in the workplace, persons who have control of workspaces and those who manage and maintain them, and persons in general. The Act provides for a comprehensive system of regulation of ministers through legal instruments that, since 1974, have created an extensive system of specific provisions for various sectors, disciplines and risks. It established a system of public oversight through the creation of the Health and Safety Commission and the Health and Safety Executive, which have since merged, and provides broad enforcement powers, ultimately supported by criminal penalties ranging from unlimited fines to jail terms of up to two years.
In addition, the law provides an essential interface with European Union law on health and safety at work. HASAWA expects employers to develop a written general occupational health and safety policy and to update this policy in accordance with changes in legislation. They must inform and instruct their employees on all tasks related to their health and safety at work. They are also designed to ensure that the workplace is maintained effectively and that access to and exit from the workspace is safe and secure. At LawBite, we know how difficult it is to stay up to date with ever-changing workplace safety regulations and laws. To find out why the Occupational Health and Safety etc. Act 1974 is important to your business and how we can provide more information and support, book a free 15-minute consultation with one of our lawyers today. Whether directors, managers or front-line staff, employers must ensure reasonably achievable health and safety in their operations.
Employers must inform you about the risks in your workplace and your protection, and also educate and train you to deal with the risks. Article 4 defines an obligation of users of premises, such as commercial owners, managers of serviced offices and maintenance contractors, towards persons who use the premises for business purposes. These premises, as well as the means of entry and exit, shall, as far as possible, be safe and secure from the point of view. This means that, if possible, workers no longer have to manually handle anything that poses a risk of injury. Employers must assess the risks and provide information on the weight of heavy equipment and items. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is an independent body set up under the umbrella of HASAWA that is responsible for enforcing health and safety legislation (with the assistance of the relevant local authorities). The HSE has the power to enforce the employer`s obligations and to impose sanctions for non-compliance with its responsibilities. The executive branch also has the power to conduct health and safety research, investigate concerns about unsafe working conditions, and investigate significant industrial incidents. In serious cases, they have the power to suspend their activities indefinitely and even lay criminal charges against offenders. The Occupational Health and Safety etc. Act 1974 is the main piece of legislation governing occupational health and safety in the United Kingdom. It is sometimes referred to as HSWA, HSW Act, 1974 Act, or HASAWA.
Your employer`s duty under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1974 (HASAWA) is to provide you with a safe and healthy workplace, and these include: An employer`s primary obligation under this Act can be summarized by its general obligations, including requirements regarding: Under the Act, employers are responsible for managing health and safety. Below is a rough overview of how the law applies to employers. Remember that employees and freelancers also have important tasks. A person may rely on tests performed by others for as long as it is reasonable for him to do so (§ 6 (6)). A person may rely on a written undertaking from another person to ensure the safety of an object (subsection 6(8)). Designers and manufacturers must conduct investigations to identify and eliminate risks where reasonably practicable (subsection 6(2)). Fitters and installers are responsible, to the extent possible, for ensuring that an item is placed and installed in a manner that is safe and without risk to health at all times when adjusted, used, cleaned or maintained by a person at work (subsection 6(3)). If a person is convicted under the law, the court may order that the person remedy the situation or order the confiscation of an object in question (section 42). Similarly, workers and contractors must do their part to help their employer implement existing health and safety provisions. The Secretary of State has broad powers to make health and safety regulations (section 15).
Violations of the regulations may give rise to criminal proceedings under section 33. In addition, the Health and Safety Executive may issue codes of conduct (Article 16). Although a violation of a code of conduct is not in itself a criminal offence, it may find a criminal offence under the Act (section 17). Details such as the controls you use or whether you offer in-person or online health and safety training are at the discretion of employers. This regulation regulated working time at the workplace by setting maximum working hours, rest periods, breaks and shift work, including additional provisions for young workers. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSW, HSWA, HASAW 1974 or HASAWA) is the main legislation governing occupational health and safety in the United Kingdom. The voluminous 85-section document sets out the framework of general obligations for employers (Section 2), employees (Section 7.8), contractors, designers, suppliers, importers and manufacturers of objects and substances used in the workplace, and premises managers to maintain health and safety in most workplaces. When you take occupational health and safety seriously, you protect your company`s reputation and help attract and retain talent. Before 1974, about 8 million workers in Britain had no occupational health and safety laws.
That is why the UK Government introduced the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1974, etc. (HSWA), a legal framework to promote, stimulate and promote high standards of health and safety in the workplace, thereby helping to protect employees and the public from potentially hazardous activities in the workplace. — although a Crown employee may be held criminally liable (section 48(2)). The Act was extended to the police on 1 July 1998 by the Police Health and Safety Act 1997 (section 51A).  The Secretary of State may, “if he considers it appropriate or expedient in the interest of the security of the state or the custody of persons lawfully detained”, exempt the Crown by regulation of Council (section 48(4)). In 1987, the Crown Procedures Act 1947 was repealed to allow military personnel to sue the Department of Defence and bring the armed forces into compliance with the law. The purpose of the PPE Regulation is to protect employees working in a hazardous environment that presents additional hazards during work operations. Employers must provide PPE if the damage cannot be reduced by other methods; in this way, the EPP acts as the last line of defence against danger. Article 8 states that “no one shall intentionally or recklessly interfere with or abuse anything provided in the interests of health, safety or welfare in accordance with any of the relevant legal provisions”. Contractors have all the employer obligations we just reviewed – they also have the universal employee obligations that we have put in place. Under health and safety legislation, employers have a duty to assess risks in the workplace.
Risk assessments should be carried out taking into account any hazards that may affect your workplace. There are a few additional legal obligations that contractors must follow, namely: Health and safety is a partnership, with the client and contractor sharing these common obligations. Similar to regulations for items used in the workplace, a person may also rely on tests or written commitments from another person to ensure the safety of substances used in the workplace. The obligation to identify and eliminate the risks of substances lies with manufacturers.