This is a brief guide to health and safety law. It does not describe the law in detail, but it does list the key points.
The health, safety and welfare at work of your employees are protected by law. You have a responsibility to protect your employees and keep them informed about health and safety.
The basis of British health and safety law is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which sets out employers’ general duties towards employees and members of the public.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 clarify what employers are required to do to manage health and safety under the Health and Safety at Work Act. Like the Act, they apply to every work activity.
You have a duty under the law to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, your employees’ health, safety and welfare at work. In other words, the degree of risk in a particular job or workplace needs to be balanced against time, trouble, cost and the physical difficulty of taking measures to avoid or reduce the risk. What the law requires here is what good management and common sense would lead you to do anyway: that is, to look at what the risks are and take sensible measures to tackle them.
You must consult with your employees, or employee safety representative, on matters relating to their health and safety at work, including:
In general, your duties as an employer include:
In particular, you must…