In this article, we are going to highlight the “Employers responsibilities for health and safety“.
As you already know, The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 is the primary piece of legislation governing workplace health and safety in Great Britain which act defines the general duties of everyone from employers (section 2) and employees (section 7,8) to owners, managers and maintainers of work premises (etc) for maintaining health and safety within most workplaces.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the governmental appointed body that is responsible for enforcing workplace health and safety legislation in the UK.
The main aim of the act is to protect people from the risk of injury or ill health by:
- Ensuring employees’ health, safety and welfare at work;
- Protecting non-employees against the health and safety risks arising from work activities; and
- Controlling the keeping and use of explosive or highly flammable or dangerous substances.
Employers responsibilities for health and safety
(1) It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of an employer’s duty under the preceding subsection, the matters to which that duty extends include in particular –
(a) The provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health;
(b) Arrangements for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances;
(c) The provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees;
(d) So far as is reasonably practicable as regards any place of work under the employer’s control, the maintenance of it in a condition that is safe and without risks to health and the provision and maintenance of means of access to and egress from it that are safe and without such risks;
(e) 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.
(3) Except in such cases as may be prescribed, it shall be 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 organisation 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.
(4) Regulations made by the Secretary of State may provide for the appointment in prescribed cases by recognised trade unions (within the meaning of the regulations) of safety representatives from amongst the employees, and those representatives shall represent the employees in consultations with the employers under subsection (6) below and shall have such other functions as may be prescribed.
F1(5). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
(6) It shall be the duty of every employer to consult any such representatives with a view to the making and maintenance of arrangements which will enable him and his employees to co-operate effectively in promoting and developing measures to ensure the health and safety at work of the employees, and in checking the effectiveness of such measures.
(7) In such cases as may be prescribed it shall be the duty of every employer, if requested to do so by the safety representatives mentioned in [F2 subsection (4)] above, to establish, in accordance with regulations made by the Secretary of State, a safety committee having the function of keeping under review the measures taken to ensure the health and safety at work of his employees and such other functions as may be prescribed.