Health And Safety At Work Act 1974 – Statutory Law
If you are looking for a letter of grievance to send to your employer, due to a breach of your employers health and safety obligations,, then you have arrived at the right place. This website also contains information on bullying and harassment, work related stress, and discrimination.
This page is intended to outline the structure of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Section 2 of the Act, which encompasses your employer’s [duties of care] to you, with regard to workplace safety.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSAWA 1974)
The HSAWA 1974 encompasses your employer’s [duties of care] to you, and your duties to your employer. Where your employer fails to observe its Statutory duties under the following Act & Regulation, it may have breached your contract of employment, which might entitle you to resign and claim constructive dismissal. Enshrined within the health and safety work act are the following sections:
Your employer has a [duty of care] for your workplace safety, and employees health and safety in work:
S.2(1) To ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees:
“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 employees.”
S.2(2)(a) To provide and maintain safe plant and equipment and safe systems of work:
“The provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.”
S.2(2)(b) To ensure safe handling, transport, storage and use of articles and substances:
“Arrangements for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances.”
S.2(2)(c) To provide necessary information, instruction, training and supervision:
“The provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees.”
S.2(2)(d) To provide a safe workplace and a safe means of access and egress:
“So far as is reasonably practicable as regards any place of work under the employer’s control, the maintenance of it in a condition that is safe and without risks to health and the provision and maintenance of means of access to and egress from it that are safe and without such risks.”
S.2(2)(e) To provide a safe working environment and adequate welfare facilities:
“The provision and ‘maintenance’ of a working environment for his employees that is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe, without risks to health, and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work.”
Your duties under the Health and Safety Work Act are:
S.7 “It shall be the duty of every employee while at work to-
(a) to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work; and.
(b) as regards any duty or requirement imposed on his employer or any other person by or under any of the relevant statutory provisions, to co-operate with him so far as is necessary to enable that duty or requirement to be performed or complied with.”
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR 1999)
Risk Assessments At Work
Much of what is encompassed within the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is also enshrined within the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. However, you have to be careful in invoking these Regulations within your Employment Tribunal claim, as Employment Tribunals have little or no jurisdiction to hear breaches of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. That said, if you are writing a letter of grievance to your employer, you should most certainly call to your employer’s attention its [duties of care] under both of these two Statutory Acts & Regulations with regard to your occupational health. In so doing, you are placing the [burden] upon your employer to observe its [duty of care] to you. Where your employer [fails] to observe its duty of care to you, it could result in you claiming constructive dismissal due to a fundamental breach of the [implied term] of mutual trust and confidence AND ALSO reporting your employer’s breaches of its health and safety obligations to the Health and Safety Executive under the provision of S.43B of the Employment Rights Act 1996. What this does, is makes your employer liable for a whistleblowing claim in an Employment Tribunal.
I myself, have invoked the protection of the Whistleblowing Act in two of my Employment Tribunal claims, for two reasons: (i) the average payout for whistle blowing is £103,000 and is an actionable in the Employment Tribunal (ii) it protects you against any detriment, or detrimental treatment under ANY Statutory Act for an indefinite period of time, viz: post employment discrimination, harassment or detriment.
R.3(1)(a) “Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of – the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work.”
R. 5(1) “Every employer shall make and give effect to such arrangements as are appropriate, having regard to the nature of his activities and the size of his undertaking, for the effective planning, organisation, control, monitoring and review of the preventive and protective measures.”(Enshrined in the HSE Management Standards – see work related stress“)
R.6 “Every employer shall ensure that his employees are provided with such health surveillance as is appropriate having regard to the risks to their health and safety which are identified by the assessment.”
R.10(1) “Every employer shall provide his employees with comprehensible and relevant information on – (a) the ‘risks’ to ‘their health and safety’ ‘identified’ by the ‘assessment’.”
R.13 Capabilities and Training:
R. 13(1) Every employer shall, in entrusting tasks to his employees, take into account [their] capabilities as regards health and safety (2) Every employer shall ensure that his employees are provided with adequate health and safety training—
(a )on their being recruited into the employer’s undertaking; and.
(b) on their being exposed to new or increased risks because of—.
(i) their being transferred or given a change of responsibilities within the employer’s undertaking,.
(ii) the introduction of new work equipment into or a change respecting work equipment already in use within the employer’s undertaking,
(iii )the introduction of new technology into the employer’s undertaking, or
(iv) the introduction of a new system of work into or a change respecting a system of work already in use within the employer’s undertaking
(3) The training referred to in paragraph (2) shall—
(a) be repeated periodically where appropriate;.
(b) be adapted to take account of any new or changed risks to the health and safety of the employees concerned [ Nature & Extent of the Workload] and,
(c) take place during working hours.