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.
Whether you are carrying out an inspection as a safety technician, manager or supervisor in a large office complex, factory or a small work shop, there are many duties and responsibilities that are common to all places of work.
The provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are safe and without risks to health
Arrangements for ensuring the safety and absence of health risks in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances
Provide such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure the health and safety at workplaces under the employer's control
Ensure that work places, plant and processes are safe and without risk to health
Provide and maintain safe means of access and egress (entry, exit and escape) from premises and work areas.
Provide and maintain a working environment for employees that is safe, without risks to health and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work. This includes transport, store , handle and use materials in a safe manner.
Produce and distribute a statement of safety policy and its implementation to all employees.
Consult with employees' representatives on matters related to health and safety and establish safety committees if sought by representatives. Such consultation is guided by published codes of practice.
Ensure that those who are not employed are informed of safety and hazards for when they work or are present on employer premises and use equipment and materials.
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 obligation to protect themselves and others. They cover European Union (EU) Article 118A directives on health and safety at work in relation to:
An employer need not duplicate assessment work. Assessments done e.g. for compliance with COSHH are likely to contribute to servicing the management regulations.
Employers must devise and implement arrangements for putting measures (plans, organizational arrangements, control systems, monitoring and review methods etc) that follow from risk assessment, into practice.
Enough toilets and washbasins for those expected to use them - people should not have to queue for long periods to go to the toilet;
Where possible, separate facilities for men and women - failing that, rooms with lockable doors;
Clean facilities - to help achieve this walls and floors should preferably be tiled (or covered in suitable waterproof material) to make them easier to clean;
A supply of toilet paper and, for female employees, a means of disposing of sanitary dressings;
Facilities that are well lit and ventilated;
Facilities with hot and cold running water;
Enough soap or other washing agents;
A basin large enough to wash hands and forearms if necessary;
A means for drying hands, e.g. paper towels or a hot air dryer;
Showers where necessary, i.e. for particularly dirty work.
The following tables show the minimum number of toilets and washbasins that should be provided . Table 1: Number of toilets and washbasins for mixed use (or women only) Number of people at work Number of toilets Number of washbasins 1-5 1 1 6-25 2 2 26-50 3 3 51-75 4 4 76-100 5 5
Table 2: Toilets used by men only Number of men at work Number of toilets Number of urinals 1-15 1 1 16-30 2 1 31-45 2 2 46-60 3 2 61-75 3 3 76-90 4 3 91-100 4 4
INFORMATION AND TRAINING FOR EMPLOYEES; Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations 1989 (SI 1989 No 682)
Employers have 2 principal duties under the Regulations:
either to display the poster OR to distribute the leaflet (HSIER Reg.4);
To provide further information giving details of the enforcing authority for the premises and the local address for EMAS (HSIER Reg.5).
EMERGENCY PROCEDURES (Click here for more on reporting injuries diseases dangerous occurrences)
Employer liability insurance
PRODUCTS SECTION 36 and Schedule 3 of Consumer Protection Act 1987 - articles for use at work) places specific duties on the designers, manufacturers, importers and suppliers
Such people must: ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that articles they design, constructed, make, import, supply etc are safe and without risks to health at all times e.g. when it is being set up , cleaned, used or maintained by someone at work
Carry out (or arrange for) such testing and examination necessary to perform the duties above
Take steps to ensure that those supplying someone with "the article/substance" have adequate information about its designed and tested use. This includes essential conditions for dismantling and disposal
Act to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that people so supplied are given updated information where it becomes known that the article/substance gives rise to serious risk to health/safety.