Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

What is the Health and Safety at Work Act?

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 explores the duties of employers in terms of health, safety and welfare at work for their employees on their premises including temporary workers, casual workers, the self-employed, clients and any visitors including the general public.

Employers have a legal obligation to assess the risk to anyone who would come on to premises, arrange for planning and reviewing preventative measures. They must also create a written health and safety policy for businesses of a certain size, further ensuring employees have access to health and safety advice. As well as consultation opportunities for employees about their risks at work.

Through this act the government issues regulations and guidance for employer, that are specific to the sector, that the employer is in order to ensure they are reasonable for the specific business.

Why Does the Health and Safety at Work Act Matter?

Employers are legally responsible to adehere to a number of requirements, surrounding the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Failure to comply with these requirements could lead to serious sanctions for any employers or individuals involved.

With the value of employer fines surrounding health and safety breaches reaching a staggering £57.3m in 2017, up 18% from the previous year, it is clear that this topic can significantly impact businesses financially.

Therefore it is crucial that businesses are fully aware of the requirements, to avoid the sanctions of non-compliance. It may also lead to benefits for the business including lower employee absence and turnover rates, increased productivity and a better reputation for corporate responsibility.

How Loates HR Consultancy Can Help

  • Ensure employee contracts are inclusive of the employee's obligations to comply with health and safety regulations
  • Advise you in cases where breaches of health and safety regulations have led to the decision to action disciplinary or dismissal procedures
  • Advise you if you suspect an employee is taking advantage of time-off due to work-related illness and injury
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