What is it?
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the primary piece of legislation that covers health and safety in Great Britain and therefore the basis of British occupational health and safety law. The act aims to increase the standards of health and safety in the workplace and its guidelines are still adhered to today.
Why do we need it?
The act illustrates general duties, which employers have towards employees and members of the public, and employees have towards each other and themselves. In essence the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 protects workers and employers alike by developing health and safety standards in the workplace. All workplaces are covered by health and safety regulation.
What are its objectives?
The act aims to protect employees against risks to health and safety in connection with activities at work. For example:
- An emphasis is put on employers to ensure the welfare, health and safety of their employees and of the need to consult with trade union representatives regarding matters of health and safety in the workplace. A policy of health and safety must be brought to the attention of employees in a business with five or more workers
- Guidelines also protect non-employees who may be affected by work activities
- Anyone who is responsible for the workplace has a duty to make sure that any equipment on the premises cannot harm their users
- The employer has a duty to prevent the emission into the atmosphere of harmful or noxious substances on the premises
- Manufacturers, suppliers and designers all have a duty to make sure that the articles they make are safe for use in a workplace
- It is the duty of every employee to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and of other persons who may be affected by their acts at work
- Employees have a duty not to interfere intentionally with anything provided in the interest of health and safety
If you have suffered an accident at work in the past three years then Accident Advice Helpline could help you gain the personal injury compensation you are entitled to. We are a law firm who work on a 100% no win, no fee* basis.
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If you are unsure or worried about the correct health and safety procedures in your workplace then you should contact the appropriate authority. This will be with the local authority or the Health and Safety Executive, depending on the type of workplace.