Two of the most important pieces of health and safety legislation affecting educational establishments across the UK are the Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. These set the standards that must be met to ensure the health and safety of all employees and others who may be affected by any work activity. Other regulations also exist to cover work activities that carry specific risks, for example lifting and carrying, computer work and electricity.
Health and safety at work Act 1974
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 , also referred to as HASAW or HSW, is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in the United Kingdom. The Health and Safety Executive is responsible for enforcing the Act and a number of other Acts and Statutory Instruments relevant to the working environment.
Statutory instruments are the secondary types of legislation made under specific Acts of Parliament. These cover a wide range of subjects, from control of asbestos at work, diving, escape and rescue from mines, ionising radiation and working at height.
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
These place a duty on employers to assess all foreseeable risks associated with work activities involving electricity. Employers are required to install safe systems of working, with well-maintained equipment, covering everything from power lines to kettles. All installation and repairs should be undertaken by a qualified electrician or those who have appropriate technical knowledge, though some minor repairs, inspections, fitting of plugs, etc may be undertaken by suitably trained staff.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002
These regulations (often known as the COSHH regulations) require employers to assess and prevent (or at least adequately control) the risks to health from the use of any hazardous substances used in the