Before 1974, when the Health and Safety at Work Act came into play, legislation regarding the safety of workers was quite disorganised – leaving many workers to suffer.  Therefore, this Act was a way to bring together the bits and pieces of legislation, and set out a clear set of guidelines for employers to follow.

The Health and Safety at Work Act includes some of the following points:

What employers owe employees –

  • A safe working environment
  • Safe equipment
  • Relevant training and supervision
  • Maintenance of all workplace safety measures

What employees owe employers –

  • An effort to keep themselves and others safe
  • Cooperation with health and safety rules
  • Do not interfere with anything provided in the interest of health and safety

This is a very simple version of the Act, and there are plenty more (quite complex) rules involved – some of which only apply to certain businesses or industries.  For a more in depth look at the act, you can find it here. (http://www.hse.gov.uk/legislation/hswa.htm)