B Part 1 Introduction To Health & Safety La Ws By J Mc Cann


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Introduction to Health & Safety LAWs

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B Part 1 Introduction To Health & Safety La Ws By J Mc Cann

  1. 1. HEALTH AND SAFETY Jim McCann
  2. 2. Setting the framework & Who makes the rules 2
  3. 3. Action on health and safety 3
  4. 4. Options The Health and Safety Commission and its  operating arm, the Executive (HSC/E), have spent the last twenty years modernizing the structure of health and safety law. Their aims are to protect the health, safety and welfare of employees, and to safeguard others, principally the public, who may be exposed to risks from industrial activity. 4
  5. 5. HSC/E consult fully with people affected  by their legislative proposals, and adopt various approaches based on assessing and controlling risk. 5
  6. 6. Among the things that can prompt action from  HSC/E are: Changes in technologies, industries or risks;  Evidence of accidents and ill health, plus public  concern; European Directives  6
  7. 7. Where HSC/E consider action is necessary  to supplement existing arrangements, their three main options are: 7
  8. 8. Guidance;  Approved Codes of Practice; and  Regulations.  HSC/E try to take whichever option, or options, allows employers most flexibility and costs them least, while providing proper safeguards for employees and the public. 8
  9. 9. The Law The basis of British health and safety law is the  Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The Act sets out the general duties which  employers have towards employees and members of the public, and employees have to themselves and to each other. 9
  10. 10. These duties are qualified in the Act by the  principle of 'so far as is reasonably practicable'. In other words, the degree of risk in a particular job or workplace needs to be balanced against the time, trouble, cost and physical difficulty of taking measures to avoid or reduce the risk. 10
  11. 11. GENERAL DUTIES OF THE EMPLOYER 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 employee Without prejudice to the generality of an employer's duty under the preceding subsection, the matters to which that duty extends include in particular 11
  12. 12. The provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health; 12
  13. 13. 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; 13
  14. 14. 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; 14
  15. 15. 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; 15
  16. 16. 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 16
  17. 17. What the law requires here is  what good management and common sense would lead employers to do anyway: that is, to look at what the risks are and take sensible measures to tackle them. 17
  18. 18. The Management of Health and Safety  at Work Regulations 1992 (the Management Regulations) generally make more explicit what employers are required to do to manage health and safety under the Health and Safety at Work Act. Like the Act, they apply to every work activity. 18
  19. 19. RISK ASSESSMENT 19
  20. 20. The main requirement on employers is  to carry out a risk assessment. Employers with five or more employees need to record the significant findings of the risk assessment. 20
  21. 21. Risk assessment should be  straightforward in a simple workplace such as a typical office. It should only be complicated if it deals with serious hazards such as those on a nuclear power station, a chemical plant, laboratory or an oil rig. 21
  22. 22. Besides carrying out a risk assessment,  employers also need to: make arrangements for implementing  the health and safety measures identified as necessary by the risk assessment; 22
  23. 23. appoint competent people (often themselves  or company colleagues) to help them to implement the arrangements; set up emergency procedures;  23
  24. 24. provide clear information and training to  employees; work together with other employers  sharing the same workplace. 24
  25. 25. The Health and Safety at Work Act, and  general duties in the Management Regulations, are goal-setting and leave employers freedom to decide how to control risks which they identify. 25
  26. 26. Guidance and Approved Codes of Practice  give advice, but employers are free to take other measures provided they do what is reasonably practicable. 26
  27. 27. But some risks are so great, or the proper  control measures so costly, that it would not be appropriate to leave employers discretion in deciding what to do about them. 27
  28. 28. Regulations identify these risks and set  out specific action that must be taken. Often these requirements are absolute - to do something without qualification by whether it is reasonably practicable 28
  29. 29. General duties of employees at work. HASAW etc Act 1974 It shall be the duty of every employee while at work 29
  30. 30. (A) to take reasonable care for the  health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work; and 30
  31. 31. (B) as regards any duty or  requirement imposed on his employer or any other person by or under any of the relevant statutory provisions, to co-operate with him so far as is necessary to enable that duty or requirement to be performed or complied with 31
  32. 32. Duty not to interfere with or misuse things provided pursuant to certain provisions. HASAW etc Act 1974 32
  33. 33. No person shall intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health, safety or welfare in pursuance of any of the relevant statutory provisions. 33
  34. 34. European Law  In recent years much of Britain's  health and safety law has originated in Europe. Proposals from the European Commission may be agreed by Member States, who are then responsible for making them part of their domestic law. 34
  35. 35. GUIDANCE HSE publishes guidance on a range  of subjects. Guidance can be specific to the  health and safety problems of an industry or of a particular process used in a number of industries. 35
  36. 36. The main purposes of guidance are:  to interpret - helping people to understand  what the law says - including for example how requirements based on EC Directives fit with those under the Health and Safety at Work Act; 36
  37. 37. To help people comply with the law;  To give technical advice.  Following guidance is not compulsory and  employers are free to take other action. But if they do follow guidance they will normally be doing enough to comply with the law. 37
  38. 38. Approved Codes of Practice ACOPS Approved Codes of Practice offer practical  examples of good practice. The give advice on how to comply with  the law by, 38
  39. 39. For example, providing a guide to what is  'reasonably practicable'. For example, if regulations use words like  'suitable and sufficient', an Approved Code of Practice can illustrate what this requires in particular circumstances. 39
  40. 40. Approved Codes of Practice have a special legal  status. If employers are prosecuted for a breach of health and safety law, and it is proved that they have not followed the relevant provisions of the Approved Code of Practice, a court can find them at fault unless they can show that they have complied with the law in some other way. 40
  41. 41. HSC plans to consult on the role of  Approved Codes of Practice in the health and safety system and the usefulness of the fifty or so which are current. 41
  42. 42. Regulations Regulations are law, approved by  Parliament. These are usually made under the  Health and Safety at Work Act, following proposals from HSC. This applies to regulations based on EC  Directives as well as 'home-grown' ones. 42
  43. 43. The regulations apply to most work activities.  They up-date and extend existing UK health and safety law (1974 Act) and impact on employer duties in relation to employees and others affected by work activity. They also affect the self-employed's obligations to protect themselves and others. They cover European Union (EU) Article 118A directives on health and safety at work in relation to: 43
  44. 44. Control over Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH)  Health and Safety Management  Work Equipment Safety  Manual Handling of Loads  Workplace Conditions  Personnel Protective Equipment  Display Screen Equipment  Construction (Design and Management)  Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 1994  (1) The pre-tender stage health and safety plan and (2) the role of the planning supervisor Signpost to the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations  1996 The regulations emphasise sound health and safety management and broad duties to assess risk and prevention by applying protective measures. 44
  46. 46. Health and Safety Policies HASAW Etc Act 1974 Section 2(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. 46
  47. 47. Health and Safety Goals and Objectives Protection  Improving the working environment  Increasing awareness of Health and Safety  Improving efficiency  Reduce costs & liabilities  47
  48. 48. EXTRACT FROM A HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY STATEMENT OBJECTIVES  High standards of Health & Safety performance  represent my top priority and I regard them as a key element in successful business performance and a major consideration in planning and executing activities within the Company. To this extent, Health & Safety considerations will generally be accorded a higher priority than operational issues so as to improve working conditions and reduce costs and liabilities associated with work place injuries and ill health. It is my aim that we continually strive to meet, as an absolute minimum, legislative standards in all aspects of work and that our business performance is actively reviewed so that we achieve higher Health & Safety standards where the balance of risk against cost and Business requirements is justified. 48
  49. 49. Meeting this aim requires commitment, co-operation and the  contribution of all staff. Management has a particular duty to control Health & Safety risks within their area of responsibility and all employees also have a role in ensuring that we can achieve our tasks in a safe and healthy workplace. 49
  50. 50. TRADE UNION REPS  The Safety Representatives  and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 50
  51. 51. HASAW etc ACT1974 SAFETY REPS & COMMITTEES (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. 51
  52. 52. (5) Regulations made by the  Secretary of State may provide for the election in prescribed cases by employees of safety representatives from amongst the employees, and those representatives shall represent the employees in consultations with the employers under subsection (6) below and may have such other functions as may be prescribed. 52
  53. 53. (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 cooperate 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. 53
  54. 54. (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 subsections (4) and (5) 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. 54
  55. 55. The End Move on to Part 2 Jim McCann 55