Working conditions are safe & hygienic - Key elements of the law

Health and Safety Law in the UK

The Law

In the UK (including Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland), the important pieces of legislation related to this issue are:

• Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

• The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981

• The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

• Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997

• The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations (SRSCR) 1977

• The Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations (HSCER) 1996

• Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969

• Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994 (COSHH) amended in 2002

• The Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981

• The Health Act 2006

Transport legislation

• Public Passenger Vehicle Act 1981

Accommodation legislation

• The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation) Order 2000

• Housing Act 2004 Part 2: Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation

• Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982

• Housing Act 1985

• Landlord and Tenant Act 1985

• The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

Key elements include:

• A clean, safe and healthy workplace shall be provided in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations

• The employer must take adequate steps to prevent accidents and injury

• Health and Safety risk assessments must be carried out regularly

• A senior manager representative with responsibility for health and safety must be appointed

• Regular health & safety training should be provided to all workers. Records should be kept of the training. Workers’ understanding must be demonstrated.

• Appropriate and free protective clothing and safety equipment shall be provided

• Workers shall be provided with access to clean drinking water and sanitary toilet facilities

• Accommodation shall be clean, safe, and secure and meet basic needs. Accommodation shall include access to clean drinking water, clean toilets, washing and cooking facilities.

• Transport provided by the employer must meet national legal standards and must ensure that any risk to the workforce is minimised

• In geographically isolated areas, where accommodation is provided, the employer should provide support services, where possible including schooling, medical and health facilities and recreational facilities.

• If the employer offers food, beverages and domestic goods for sale to workers these should not cost more than average costs locally.

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