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safetyzone - health and safety at work act 1974

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The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) applies to all persons at work

Employers have an obligation to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable the health, safety and welfare of ANYONE likely to be affected by their activities.

Employees also have health and safety obligations and can be liable if they carry out acts that put others at risk. Remember it's not just employers who are liable!

An employer of five or more people must prepare a written safety policy.

The policy should reflect things that are reasonably practicable to implement. Don't elaborate to sound impressive. Don't fail to commit yourselves to doing the minimum because you are lazy!

Employers must ensure staff have relevant and suitable training. Arrange for periodic training of staff. Keep training records as proof of training and to determine when retraining is needed. Also provide any necessary information, instruction and supervision in safe practices, including information on legal requirements.

Train all levels or the workforce from Directors to Cleaners. Ensure the training is relevent. When training is misdirected it becomes irrelevant and makes it harder to keep the interest of employees

There are a number of ways to determine training needs including:

If two recognised union reps request a safety committee be formed, then one must be formed.

The Health and Safety Executive can institute legal proceedings which can lead to up to two years imprisonment and an unlimited fine for breaches of health and safety.

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