Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
One of the most important pieces of UK health and safety legislation of the 20th century is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Before this Act was introduced, health and safety with regards to workplaces tended to be industry-specific, and was largely reactive instead of proactive, meaning that new legislation was only introduced after a serious accident had taken place. Prior to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 being introduced, existing health and safety legislation concentrated more on ensuring that the equipment being used was safe, rather than raising the awareness of employees to work safely and take responsibility for occupational health and safety.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 was based on the findings of Lord Robens, who was tasked with reviewing the existing provisions of health and safety for those in the workplace. His recommendations led directly to the creation and introduction of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the main ones being:
Whilst the Act is dated 1974, it is still current. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 in an Enabling Act, allowing further laws (Regulations) to be made without the need to pass another Act. Some Regulations apply across all industries (e.g. manual handling) whereas others cover hazards which are unique to certain industries such as construction or mining).
Enforcement of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
Inspectors work either for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) or the Local Authority, and have a number of rights, including the right to:
As well as the rights listed above, inspectors have a number of actions available to them once they have concluded their findings. These range from taking no action, to giving verbal or written advice, to serving a prohibition notice or even commencing prosecution proceedings if there is sufficient evidence and it is considered to be in the public interest.
The above is just a very brief introduction to the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and its enforcement. Specific details and a more in-depth look at the Act can be found on the Health and Safety Executive's website at www.hse.gov.uk.
Need an Accredited Course?
Along with designing bespoke health and safety training programmes, we also run the accredited NEBOSH, IOSH and ConstructionSkills (CSkills) health and safety courses as open courses at selected venues across the UK, as well as in-house for those companies who have a number of employees requiring the training, as it will be much more cost effective than sending them all onto a scheduled open course.
For more information please call 0115 984 9940 to discuss the options or send us an online contact form. Alternatively, use the "Courses" menu at the top of the page to view the courses and qualifications for the various awarding bodies.
These courses form the basis for our in-house training programmes. They can either be run as they are if the outline is exactly what you want, or can be be modified to suit the individual requirements of your organisation. Two or more can also be combined to tailor a bespoke training session for you.
Please click on a course title to find out more about what each one entails: