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Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
The Health and Safety at Work Act etc 1974 (also referred to as HSWA, the 1974 Act, the HSW or HASAWA) is the primary piece of UK health and safety legislation. It requires employers to ‘ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work’ of all of their employees.
The main requirements of this Act are:
- The safe operation and maintenance of the working environment, plant and systems
- Maintenance of safe access and egress to the workplace
- Safe use, handling and storage of dangerous substances
- Adequate training of staff to ensure health and safety
- Adequate welfare provisions for staff at work
Employers with five employees or more must keep and revise a written record of health and safety policy and consult with employees or their representatives on these policies.
Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008
The Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008, lays out the maximum penalties that can be made against defendants under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (for more information on this Act see above). The Act, which came into force in January 2009, gives lower courts the power to impose the following fines and/or imprisonment for the following health and safety offences:
- Breaches of general duties under HASAWA Sections 2 - 8 or Regulations
- Non-compliance with an Improvement Notice, a Prohibition Notice or a Court Order
- Making a false statement or entry in a register
- Any other offence not specified
- Breaches of general duties under HASAWA Section 9
- Obstructing an Inspector
- Pretending to be an Inspector
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires employers to assess and manage risks to their employees and others as a result of any work activities.
Employers have a duty to ensure the health and safety of the workplace including:
- Making arrangements for emergencies
- Providing adequate training and information for employees
- Providing health and safety surveillance where appropriate
Employees are required to work in line with the training and instructions provided to them, and must notify their employer or health and safety representative if there are any shortcomings in the arrangements made, or if there is any immediate danger to their health and safety at work.
Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007
In April 2008 the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 came into force, and clarifies the criminal liabilities of companies and organisations where failures in health and safety management have resulted in a fatality. This means that companies and organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of a gross breach of a duty of care. Prosecutions under this Act will be of corporate bodies, not individuals, however the liability of individuals under health and safety law, or general criminal law, will be unaffected.
Lone Worker Solutions
In order to comply with these Acts and Regulations you may need to consider lone worker solutions. To find out more about the solution we provide at Pick Protection you can call us on 0141 229 0048 or view our products and services here.