Guide index - HR employment law and your business

Health and safety

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 provides that every employer has a duty to ensure the health and safety and well-being of all their employees. The statutory duty (under Section 2(2) of the 1974 Act) is to provide:-

You should also have a health and safety policy statement, which should be in writing if you have five employees or more.

Employers must ensure their workplace meets health and safety standards.

Your responsibilities will include carrying out risk assessments, making sure your premises meet the required fire safety standards; the reporting of accidents or dangerous incidents in the workplace, and providing clean toilets and sanitation facilities and first aid facilities.

Even a low-risk workplace such as a small office should have a first-aid box and a person appointed to take charge of first-aid arrangements. Employers must provide information about first-aid arrangements to their employees.

There are many other specific health and safety regulations applying to workplaces and specific industries processes and hazards.

All workplaces must have the statutory HSE health and safety poster on display, or supply employees with an equivalent leaflet.