Archive for June, 2013

Posted on: June 25th, 2013 by admin No Comments

Indepth: The Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974

In our previous blog post, we gave an overview of some of the most crucial pieces of legislation when it comes to health and safety of employees in the workplace, and why it is essential to have regular racking inspections. We are now going to look at some of the pieces of legislation in a bit more depth, starting with the Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974.

The Health and Safety at Work Etc Act 1974 is often abbreviated to HSW Act, HSWA 1974, HASAWA or HSWA. It is an Act of the UK Parliament, first introduced by Harold Wilson’s government in 1974 after four years of political wrangling as the UK went from a Labour government to a Conservative one and back to Labour. It is the primary piece of government legislation concerning health, safety and welfare regulation, encouragement and enforcement in the workplace in Great Britain. The Act sets out key principles for occupational health and safety, and brought existing legislation regarding health and safety, which was complicated and confusing, into one easier to understand act. The Act also allows the UK to comply with EU laws regarding health and safety.

The Act has 10 different sections. Section 1 sets out the aims of the act. This includes securing the health, safety and welfare of people at work as well as protecting other people from the risks to health and safety caused by the activities of the people at work.

Section 2, which is our main focus, sets out the duties of employers towards their employees, stating that” It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his/her employees”. It also states that the employer must have a safety policy and must make employees aware of it.

Section 3 lays out the duties of employers towards people other than employees, such as clients, visitors, contractors and the general public. Employers must be able to ensure their safety as far as reasonably practicable.

Section 10 created two bodies, the Health and Safety Commission and the Health and Safety Executive. They were merged in 2008 to create the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who have responsibility for enforcing the act along with local authorities. Breaches of the act can ultimately lead to unlimited fines and imprisonment for up to two years. To read more about the act, click here.

If you have pallet racking in your warehouse, it is therefore essential to have a regular racking inspection carried out to ensure that you as employer fulfil your legal obligations under this act. To learn more about a Logical Storage rack inspection, click here, or contact us on 0845 689 1300 to discuss your needs.