Health and safety at work

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 applies to everyone at work, whether self-employed, an employer or an employee. Employers must take all reasonable steps to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people working for them. They must also consider the health and safety of anyone that might be affected by their activities, including customers, visitors and contractors. No business is too large or too small to escape these duties.

The Act and the wide range of regulations made under it are enforced by local authorities or the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), according to the main activity of each individual work premises.

Local authorities have responsibility for the enforcement of health and safety legislation in 1.2 million business premises such as: offices, shops, retail and wholesale distribution outlets, hotels, restaurants, residential care homes and throughout the leisure industry.

The HSE enforces the legislation in industrial sites such as factories, farms and construction sites.  The Office of the Rail Regulator (ORR) is the enforcing authority regarding health and safety on all railway premises.

Health and Safety Policy

Health and safety laws

Health and safety legislation is aimed at preventing people from being harmed at work by ensuring employers take the appropriate precautions and provide a safe working environment. Because health and safety at work is so important, there are rules that require all of us not to put ourselves or others in danger. The law is also there to protect the public from workplace dangers. These laws apply to all firms, however small, to all employees and to the self-employed.

See also

Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers


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