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2011-01-13 14:48:20
Section details general duties employers employees

Health and safety at work act 1974 (HASAWA)
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  1. Section 2(1)Employer to employee
    It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure so far as reasonably practable , the health, safety and welfare at work to all his emplotees
  2. Section2(2) in particular, this duty extends to:
    • a. Safe plant and systems at work (SFRP - so far as reasonably practicable)
    • b. Safe use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances (SFRP)
    • c. The provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as necessary.
    • d. Safe place of work with safe means of access and egress (SFRP)
    • e. A safe working environment (SFRP)
    • and adequate welfare facilities.
  3. Section 2(3) Safety Policy. An employer shall
    • Prepare a statement of general health and safety policy, and write it down where 5 or more people are employed (must be presented to all employees).
    • Set down the organisation and the arrangements for carrying out the policy, ie Who is responsible for what and how.
    • Revise and update the policy as necessary; and
    • Bring the policy and arrangements to the notice of all employees.
  4. Section 2(6-7) Safety representatives and safety committees
    • HASAWA provides for the appointment of employees safety representatives and recognised trade unions. The employer must:
    • Consult with the recognised trade union safety representatives on the safety measures and arrangements
    • Establish a safety committee when requested by two or more trade union safety representatives within 3 months, and bring it to the notice of employees.
    • The safety representatives and committee regulations and ACOP 1977 describe the rights and functions of TU appointed safety representatives. In addition, the consultation with employees regulations 1996 require that employers consult with employees who are not in the trade union.
  5. Section 3 Duties to others
    • An employer or (self employed person) must carry out their undertaking in such a way, that they do not expose themselves or others who may be affected by their activities so far as is reasonably practicable. Others include:
    • The general public
    • Contractors - buliding, catering, security, cleaning staff, etc
    • Visitors - from another organsiation, clients, postmen, etc
    • Trespassers
  6. Section 4 Controllers of premises
    • Section 4 requires those in control of premises (through ownership or tenancy agreement) to ensure that the premises:
    • Are safe. Have safe access and egress; and
    • That any plant or substances provided for use are safe and do not endanger health
  7. Section 6 Duties of designers, manufacturers and suppliers
    • Section 6 requires persons designing, manufacturing, importing or supplying articles or substances for use at work to:
    • Ensure articles are safe and without risk to health when used, set, cleaned or maintained.
    • Ensure substaces are safe and without risk when being used, handled, processed, stored or transported.
    • Carry out or arrange for the carrying of tests, research or examinations, which may be necessary to comply with above.
    • Provide information about the use and conditions necessary to ensure that the setting, cleaning, maintaining or disposal of the article or substance is safe, and does not impose risk to health.
    • Take reasonably practicable steps to provide further information should new serious risks come to light.
    • Ensure anyone erecting or installing articles for use at work ensures that the equipment is safe and does not impose risk to health when used, set, cleaned or maintained.
  8. Section 6(8)
    These duties can be relieved by obtaining a written undertaking from the purchaser that he/she will take steps to ensure that the article or substance will be safe in use, eg purchaser of second hand machinery undertakes to fit appropriate guarding, this does not apply to new machinery.
  9. Section 7 Duties of employees
    • Section 7 outlines the duties of employees for themselves and others. Every employee must
    • Take reasonable care for:
    • The health and safety of themself; and anyone else who may be affected by his acts or emissions.
    • Co-operate with his employer or any other person as far as is necessary to enable the employer to meet his legal obligations.
    • Eg, an employer has a legal obligation to provide safety glasses where a risk assessment has identified a risk to site. The employee has a duty to co-operate and wear the glasses.
    • Everyone in an organisation is an employee, from the chairman, managing director, chief executive, etc. down to the lowest paid worker but see also Section 37 below for additional duties placed on those who act in these capacities.
    • The general duties of employees have been extended by the management of health and safety at work regulations 1999. Regulation 14 requires an employee to use precautions provided, carry out any work in accordance with any training or instruction, to inform the employer of any health and safety problems.
  10. Section 8 Duty not to interfere with anything provided for health and safety.
    Section 8 requires that no person misuse or interfere with anything provided in the interest of health and safety at work. This applies to anyone, eg it requires a visitor to a night club not to interfere with fire extinguishers.
  11. Section 9 Duty not to charge employees
    Section 9 states that the employees cannot be charged (£) for anything done or provided to comply with specific legal obligations, eg safety glasses.
  12. Section 36 Offences due to the fault of another person.
    Section 36 provides for the personal prosecution of any individual where that persons act or omission causes a corporate body to commit a breach of the law (even if the corporate body is not charged), eg an HSE Inspector found that levels of wood dust in a wood working factory were higher than the legal limits under the COSHH regulations. The fault lay with the occupational hygenist, a consultant, who had failed to comply with the standards and procedures recommended by his profession. The occupational hygenist was found guilty under section 36. The employer was not prosecuted. (R v Lockwood, 2001).
  13. Section 37 Offences by body corporate
    • Section 37 states that where an offence is commited by a corporate body, with th knowledge or through neglect of a senior responsible person, both that person and the body corporate are liable to prosecution. It has to be proved that the individual was the "directing mind and will" of the organisation and that he/she either :
    • Conived (with the active involvement of the senior manager) or
    • Neglected (failed to do something which caused the offence to be committed) or
    • Consented to the offence (had knowledge of it and failed to prevent it)