Health and Safety
According to Health and Safety at Work etc. Act sec. 1-2 every employer shall ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of his or her employees. It is employer's duty to protect persons other than persons at work against risks to health or safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work, controlling the keeping and use of explosive or highly flammable or otherwise dangerous substances, and generally preventing the unlawful acquisition, possession and use of such substances and controlling the emission into the atmosphere of noxious or offensive substances. Employer’s duty also extends to the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are safe and without risks to health and arrangements for ensuring safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances. The Act also imposes a duty on employees to take precautions for their own safety, to co-operate with safety rules, and to report any defects or safety hazards.
Source: §1-2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act
All employers have a statutory duty to take care of the health and safety of all their employees, for example, they should provide first aid equipment, and adequate means of escape in case of fire, protective clothing and ensure all machinery is safe. Also, the provision and maintenance of a working environment for his employees that is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe, without risks to health, and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work. The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 seeks to ensure that where the risks cannot be controlled by other means, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is correctly selected and used. Items of PPE (Safety spectacles, goggles, face-shields, visors; helmets, hard hats and bump caps, etc.) have to be provided by the employer to the workers free of charge. Employer is further required to train the workers on the use of PPE and employees must have the equipment readily available, or at the very least have clear instructions on where they can obtain it.
Source: §2(2e) & Schedule III of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act; Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
Employers are required to provide the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health, and welfare at work of his or her employees. Adequate safety, health and welfare training includes, in particular, information and instructions relating to the specific task to be performed by the employee and the measures to be taken in an emergency. It is the duty of every employer to prepare and as often as may be appropriate revise a written statement of his general policy with respect to the health and safety at work of his employees and the organization and arrangements for the time being in force for carrying out that policy, and to bring the statement and any revision of it to the notice of all of his employees.
Source: §2(2c & 3) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act
Labour Inspection System
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the national independent body for work-related health, safety and illness. It acts in the public interest to reduce work-related death and serious injury across UK. Its inspectors have wide-ranging powers to inspect premises, serve Improvement Notices, etc. The HSE is very focused on ensuring that employers provide adequate training and supervision for their employees; thus, there is a heavy burden of proof to show that they have discharged their duty in this area. The HSE also produces codes of practice to which employers must adhere.
Source: §10-14 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act
Regulations on Health and Safety
Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992