Workplace Health and Safety

Health and Safety and Why We Need It

Health and Safety and Why We Need It

In this month’s Health and Safety update, our H&S Consultant, Colin Jones discussed the importance of H&S in the workplace and why all employers need it.

What is the history of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSW, HSWA, HASAW 1974 or HASAWA)?

Now in its 48th year. Its radical 1972 report formed the basis of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work etc Act. The multiple inspectorates for different industries were abolished and the Health and Safety Executive was established to inspect workplaces, enforce the law, provide advice and conduct research to improve safety and health.

What is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 simplified?

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 lays down wide-ranging duties on employers. Employers must protect the ‘health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees, as well as others on their premises, including temps, casual workers, the self-employed, clients, visitors and the general public.

It also places responsibility on employees to ensure they adhere to safety measures and take care of their own safety and that of others who may be affected in carrying out their duties and report any issues regarding health and safety.

Who enforces Health and Safety Legislation?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the governmental appointed body that is responsible for enforcing workplace health and safety legislation in the UK. However, when it comes to enacting enforcement, this responsibility is generally divided between the HSE and relevant local authorities.

What are the main regulations which businesses have to consider?

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the principal piece of legislation for occupational health and safety in Great Britain, there are other regulations to implement which are designed to keep your workplace compliant and safe. There are 13 regulations that apply across the full range of workplaces. In addition, there are other regulations to cover particular areas such as asbestos, chemicals, construction and gas.

The following are those regulations that apply:

  1. Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  2. Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
  3. Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992
  4. Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
  5. Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998
  6. Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
  7. Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981
  8. The Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations 1989
  9. Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969
  10. Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR)
  11. Noise at Work Regulations 1989
  12. Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
  13. Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)

If you require assistance with understanding or ensuring your business complies with these regulations, the team at HPC can assist you with expert advice and guidance, get in contact to discuss with us today.

The basics for your business

  • Appoint a competent person

Choose who will help you manage health and safety in your business

  • Prepare a health and safety policy

What a policy is and how it helps you manage health and safety

  • Risk assessment

How to identify hazards and assess risks at work

  • Consult your workers

Involve your workers and inform them about health and safety

  • Provide information and training

Tell your workers what their health and safety duties are

  • Have the right workplace facilities

Have toilets, washbasins and other welfare facilities workers need

  • First aid in work

Advice on your first aid kit, training workers and appointing first aiders

  • Display the law poster

You must display the poster or give workers the equivalent leaflet

  • Get insurance for your business

Find out why you may need employers’ liability insurance

  • The Law

The Health and Safety at Work Act, criminal and civil law

  • Report accidents and illness

You must report certain injuries, near-misses and work-related illnesses to HSE

Key figures for Great Britain (2020/21)

  • 1.7 million working people suffering from a work-related illness, of which
  • 822,000 workers suffering work-related stress, depression or anxiety
  • 470,000 workers suffering from a work-related musculoskeletal disorder
  • 93,000 workers suffering from COVID-19 which they believe may have been from exposure to coronavirus at work
  • 2,369 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2019)
  • 142 workers killed at work
  • 441,000 working people sustained an injury at work according to the Labour Force Survey
  • 51,211 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR

More than ever Health and Safety need to be at the forefront for everyone. Health and Safety is not a burden, it plays a vital role in the wellbeing of all. Done right, it can impact positively on organisations and the workplace in terms of morale, reputation, cost savings and in some cases be the difference of winning new business!  

You never know the real value of expert Health & Safety advice until you face problems in the workplace through injury or claims, we are here to help you avoid and protect your business from this risk. 

T: 0844 800 5932


Twitter: @HPC_HRServices

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