What is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974?

May 12, 2015

What is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974?

Prior to 1974, legislation relating to the safety of workers was scattered here there and everywhere. It was all quite disorganised compared to today’s standards, and a lot of workers were suffering as a result.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 was introduced as a way of bringing all the bits and pieces together, into a comprehensive, centralised set of guidelines that employers were required to follow.

Today, this act still stands, and employers are still obliged to meet the guidelines set out within.

What’s In the Health and Safety at Work Act?

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is a fairly hefty document. If you want to see it in full, the government provides a copy on their website, which you can download from this page.

But if you want a very brief introduction to what’s included, then we’ve condensed a few of the key points to try and give you a basic Health and Safety at Work Act summary:

1. What Employers Owe Their Employees

Employers have a set of obligations to their employees, which include:

– Providing a safe working environment

– Providing safe equipment for employees to use

– Providing a safe way to transport and store items

– Providing the relevant training and supervision

– Maintaining all workplace safety measures

2. What Employees Owe Their Employers

It isn’t just employers who have obligations – employees are given a set of guidelines too, such as:

– Making every effort to keep themselves, and others around them, safe

– Cooperating with the health and safety rules set out by their employer

– Ensuring they do not intentionally interfere with or damage anything provided in the interests of health and safety

That’s not all…

The above is only a very brief introduction to the most commonly-applicable points within the Health and Safety Act 1974.

There are many more rules, some of which are quite complex and specific, and many of which apply only to certain business types or industries.

How are you managing with Health and Safety legislation at your business? We’d love to hear your opinion, so please leave a comment below.

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