Health and safety regulations in the United Kingdom

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In the United Kingdom there are many regulations relevant to health and safety at work. Many of these give effect to European Union directives.

Regulations made under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974[edit]

Breach of the Health and Safety regulations is a crime throughout the UK. In England and Wales contravention is punishable on summary conviction or on indictment with an unlimited fine.[1] Either an individual or a corporation can be punished,[2] and sentencing practice is published by the Sentencing Guidelines Council.[3]

In England and Wales, a person who suffered damage caused by a breach of the regulations, used to have a cause of action in tort against the offender.[1] However, section 69 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013[4] repealed this right of action. This prevents a claimant for claiming damages against an employer for contravention of an absolute duty. Instead, they must now prove that the employer was negligent as with other torts. A similar right of action exists in Scotland through the law of delict.

The "six pack" regulations[edit]

Worker consultation[edit]

  • Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977[11]
  • Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996

Both of these (as amended) are supported by Approved Codes of Practice and guidance issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).[12]

  • Offshore Installations (Safety Representatives and Safety Committees) Regulations 1989[13]

Other[edit]

A full list of all UK Health and Safety legislation can be found on the HSE website.[37]

Statutory inspection[edit]

A number of statutes require a "thorough inspection" to take place at prescribed intervals. The HSE describes a thorough inspection as "a systematic and detailed examination of the equipment and safety-critical parts, carried out at specified intervals by a competent person who must then complete a written report".[38] The main statutory inspection regulations are:[39]

Category Legislation Frequency of thorough inspection Notes
Lifting and handling plant including passenger lifts Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) regulation 9 6 monthly for equipment which lifts persons, otherwise 12 monthly
Power presses, guards and protection devices, other dangerous machinery Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER), especially Regulations 32–35 On installation and relocation, thereafter 12 monthly where there are fixed guards, otherwise 6 monthly.[40] In addition, PUWER makes employers responsible for ensuring that any work equipment exposed to conditions causing deterioration which is liable to cause dangerous conditions is inspected at suitable intervals
Pressure systems Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000 (PSSR) In accordance with a written scheme of examination The HSE is authorised to provide an exemption in appropriate circumstances. A pressure system which forms an enclosure for high voltage equipment is exempt, effective 1 December 2021.[41]
Local exhaust ventilation (LEVs) and extraction plant Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) Every 14 months[26]
Protective equipment for working at heights Work at Heights Regulations 2005 regulation 12 At suitable intervals Such visual or more rigorous inspection by a competent person as is appropriate for safety purposes, including appropriate testing [27]

REACH[edit]

The registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals in the UK reflects the EU REACH regulation (EC 1907/2006).[42]

Having entered into force in 2007, REACH provisions were phased in over a period of 11 years.[43]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974". Act No. 37 of 1974. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-03-27.
  2. ^ "Interpretation Act 1978". Act No. 30 of 1978. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-08-08.
  3. ^ "Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974". Act No. 24 of 2013. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-08-04.
  4. ^ "Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013". Act No. 24 of 2013. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-08-04.
  5. ^ "The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999". Statutory Instruments No. 3242 of 1999. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-02-23.
  6. ^ "The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998". Statutory Instruments No. 2306 of 1998. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-08-10.
  7. ^ "The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992". Statutory Instruments No. 2793 of 1992. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-08-09.
  8. ^ "The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992". Statutory Instruments No. 3004 of 1992. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-01-19.
  9. ^ "The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992". Statutory Instruments No. 2966 of 1992. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2020-02-18.
  10. ^ "The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992". Statutory Instruments No. 2792 of 1992. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2016-04-16.
  11. ^ "The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977". Statutory Instruments No. 500 of 1977. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-02-12.
  12. ^ "Consulting workers on health and safety" (PDF). TUC Education. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-16.
  13. ^ "The Offshore Installations (Safety Representatives and Safety Committees) Regulations 1989". Statutory Instruments No. 971 of 1989. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-08-08.
  14. ^ "The Dangerous Substances in Harbour Areas Regulations 1987". Statutory Instruments No. 37 of 1987. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-08-08.
  15. ^ "The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989". Statutory Instruments No. 635 of 1989. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-03-09.
  16. ^ "The Borehole Sites and Operations Regulations 1995". Statutory Instruments No. 2038 of 1995. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-01-21.
  17. ^ "The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989". Statutory Instruments No. 635 of 1989. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-08-08.
  18. ^ "The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998". Statutory Instruments No. 2307 of 1998. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-04-01.
  19. ^ "The Transport of Dangerous Goods (Safety Advisers) Regulations 1999". Statutory Instruments No. 257 of 1999. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2020-09-19.
  20. ^ "The Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999". Statutory Instruments No. 3232 of 1999. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-08-02.
  21. ^ UK Legislation, The Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000: Explanatory Note, accessed 29 August 2022
  22. ^ "The Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000". Statutory Instruments No. 128 of 2000. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-08-07.
  23. ^ "The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002". Statutory Instruments No. 2776 of 2002. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-05-17.
  24. ^ "The Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002". Statutory Instruments No. 1689 of 2002. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-08-08.
  25. ^ "The Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002". Statutory Instruments No. 2676 of 2002. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-03-09.
  26. ^ a b "The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002". Statutory Instruments No. 2677 of 2002. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-05-17.
  27. ^ a b "The Work at Height Regulations 2005". Statutory Instruments No. 735 of 2005. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-06-24.
  28. ^ "The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005". Statutory Instruments No. 1643 of 2005. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-05-17.
  29. ^ "The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005". Statutory Instruments No. 1093 of 2005. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2021-01-21.
  30. ^ "The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012". Statutory Instruments No. 632 of 2012. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-07-20.
  31. ^ "The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013". Statutory Instruments No. 1471 of 2013. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-06-05.
  32. ^ "The Acetylene Safety (England and Wales and Scotland) Regulations 2014". Statutory Instruments No. 1639 of 2014. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-08-08.
  33. ^ "The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015". Statutory Instruments No. 51 of 2015. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-03-10.
  34. ^ "The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 2015". Statutory Instruments No. 483 of 2015. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-03-05.
  35. ^ "The Ionising Radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations 2017". Statutory Instruments No. 1322 of 2017. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2022-08-08.
  36. ^ "The Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2019". Statutory Instruments No. 703 of 2019. Parliament of the United Kingdom. Archived from the original on 2020-08-13.
  37. ^ "HSE Health and Safety legislation". Health and Safety UK. n.d.
  38. ^ "Thorough examinations and inspections of lifting equipment". Health and Safety UK. 2021. Archived from the original on 2022-04-25.
  39. ^ "Industrial Regulations". Industrial Safety Inspections. n.d. Archived from the original on 2017-02-03.
  40. ^ "Safe use of power presses" (PDF). Health and Safety UK. 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-02-19.
  41. ^ HSE, Exemption: pressure systems forming an enclosure for high voltage equipment, accessed 28 August 2022
  42. ^ "Defra's statement of forthcoming legislation 2008" (PDF). Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. March 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-07-26. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
  43. ^ "Reach". European Commission. n.d. Archived from the original on 2013-09-29.

References[edit]

  • [Various authors] (2007). Tolley's Health and Safety at Work Handbook 2007. London: Butterworths. ISBN 978-0-7545-3318-4.
  • Stranks, J. (2005). Health and Safety Law (5th ed.). London: Prentise Hall. ISBN 9780131976467.