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The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 provides a wide, embracing, enabling framework for health, safety and welfare in the UK.

The Act places specific duties on

  • employers who have duties to employees and others who are not their employees
  • employees who may be junior staff, managers or indeed even safety representatives. All employees need to understand their employer's obligations.
  • occupiers of premises
  • designers, manufacturers, importers and suppliers and their responsibilities for articles/substances used at work

It is important to remember that the Act places a duty of care on both employers and employees to ensure health, safety and welfare in the workplace. The legislation is relevant to the prevention of RSI-type conditions, and as such, both employers and employees must, so far as it is reasonably practical, take all necessary steps to prevent their occurrence.

Although over recent years it has been reinforced by more explicit legislation, it still remains the cornerstone of UK health & safety legislation.

As more recent legislation places a much more explicit duty of care we recommend that you browse through all the relevant guides to specific health and safety legislation on the RSIA site. You can download the actual statutory instruments from this website

> UK Statutory Instruments (External link)