Occupational health and safety legislation UK

May 2019

It’s important to know how workplace legislation applies to you.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) identifies two elements in OH (occupational health) for businesses to focus on.

The first is the effect of work on staff health. This includes:

  • The identification of what is the basis or can contribute to ill health in the workplace
  • Determining which actions are required to avert illness through by work,
  • Introducing appropriate control measures to prevent illness arising from conditions in the workplace, including bad practices.

The second component is to ensure:

  • That people with existing health conditions, are disabled or have an impairment, are not prevented from taking up jobs unreasonably
  • Staff are fit to perform their required tasks i.e. by adjusting work practices for conditions such as epilepsy or asthma or ensuring that employees who carry out manual handling tasks are capable of doing.

Employer’s responsibilities

All employers must provide a safe working environment and must carry out risk assessments.  There is a plethora range of health, safety and welfare regulation that accompanies this and employers must be aware of the legal requirements surrounding their sector.

Staff too, have responsibilities.

Employee responsibilities

Workers have a responsibility to reduce the risks to themselves and others in the workplace. Some of these responsibilities are:

  • To take reasonable care not to endanger yourself or others
  • To use tools, equipment or systems of work in the manner in which you were trained
  • To report slips, trips, falls, near misses, injuries, or sickness
  • That you will provide information on any part of your life that may affect the safety of yourself or others (taking medication that could affect your functions or ability to carry out your work).

The legal responsibilities surrounding occupational health and safety at work at vast and complicated, if you are in any doubt as to your responsibilities you should contact the HSE