THE HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK ACT 1974
The main piece of legislation which governs the everyday provision of health and safety in workplaces is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. All settings have a legal duty to comply with this Act, as well as any further regulations which may apply. It is essential that all senior staff keep their knowledge of the legislation up to date.
Duties of employers according to the Health and Safety at Work Act: •To provide a safe place of work
•To provide adequate training and equipment
•Recruit competent and safety conscious staff
•To produce health and safety policies
•If employing more than 5 employees, they must carry out a risk assessment on their premises and write a safety policy that explains how the risks are to be minimised
Duties of employees according to the Health and Safety at Work Act: •To follow the setting’s health and safety policies
•To use the safety equipment and protection provided
•To not place themselves or others at risk or harm as a result of their actions
CONTROL OF SUBTANCES HAZARDOUS TO HEALTH REGULATIONS (COSHH) 1995 Many settings use chemicals or materials that could be hazardous to health if not used/stored safely and correctly, for example bleach and other cleaning substances. The COSHH regulations require settings to list the hazards and consider how they will minimise the risks.