People are often confused about health and safety at work, not knowing who is responsible for personal safety, and failing to understand the rights of workers and the roles employers play from a safety perspective. In essence, health and safety for all workplaces can be defined by the Health and Safety at Work Act, a piece of legislation that came into force in 1974 and also known as HASAWA.
What is the Health and Safety at Work Act?
To quote the original legislation, this was, ‘an act to make further provision for securing the health, safety and welfare of persons at work, for protecting others against risks to health or safety in connection with the activities of persons at work, for controlling the keeping and use and preventing the unlawful acquisition, possession and use of dangerous substances, and for controlling certain emissions into the atmosphere; to make further provision with respect to the employment medical advisory service; to amend the law relating to building regulations, and the Building (Scotland) Act 1959; and for connected purposes.’
Covering occupational health and safety throughout Great Britain, HASAWA lays down the law for employers and outlines how the safety and welfare of workers must be protected within the work setting. This covers all employees, including full-time, part-time and casual staff, including temps and the self-employed.
It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the safety of all staff members on-site, and this includes clients or visitors to the business, as well as the general public. They must care for the safety of people within their environment ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’ and guidelines are clearly defined through an Approved Code of Practice, which offers practical advice and examples of good practice for health and safety in the workplace.
Learn More about Health and Safety at Work
You can read more about the Health and Safety at Work here, and download the entire document if you want to understand the finer details of the legislation.
If you are an employer, it’s up to you to make sure your business complies with health and safety law, and this is where we can assist you here at Business Safety. We are Ireland’s leading safety consultants and provide a diverse range of advice, training and assistance for all facets of Health and Safety.
For advice, or to arrange a consultation with our safety experts, you can contact us or call to speak to us on 0818 333 212 today.