Health And Safety Laws UK



Through the years and the need to provide for the family has placed the worker or workforce at the mercy of the employers. During the 1800s young children worked at cotton mills and were in danger of contaminating diseases without any reprieve. Accidents were common in automobile industries during the explosion of the industry during the early 1900s. People became sick or died in mines while extracting precious mineral resources. This led to reduced production and overall lower income for both the employers and employees

The first step towards a change in the employer-employee relationship was in 1802 when an Act was implemented to force cotton mill owners to treat the workers, in this case mostly children, in their employment.

Though the Act lacked power in its implementation, it was the stepping stone for more effective legislation in the future.

The Health and Safety legislation was put in effect to stop the abuse of employees by their employers and to create an environment that will be conducive to the well-being of the employee. This legislation became an Act in 1974 and in summary, states the functions of the employer towards his staff and the role of the staff to one another.


By 1994, the Health and Safety Legislation was seen to be confusing to both the employers and the employees. People did not know how the act could be implemented or what the act really stood for. An attempt was made by the Health and Safety Commission to break down the legislation into three parts to be better understood. This decision was made due to the increase, awareness, and changes in technologies and the reported cases of health concerns and work-related accidents. The three parts are: construction risk assessment

Direction/Guidance: The health and safety commission came up with a system to help employers and employees better understand the Health and Safety Legislation rules and regulations. Following the directions of the commission was not binding to the employer but guaranteed that the employer did not break any health and safety laws.

Approved Practices: The commission provided concepts, guides, and practices for a better workplace and seen as legal. Though these practices were not legally binding, it showed an ideal picture of what the workplace should be. These blueprints or practices could be used as the basis for prosecution if shown that the employer neglected or acted contrary to the practices.

Regulations: While the health and safety commission gives out guidance and a blueprint of approved practices that the employer can choose to ignore, regulations are absolutes and cannot be ignored. They are laws set down by the government in the course of action that should be taken to avoid some risks in the workplace. Regulations also state what should be done regarding certain accidents and dangers that occur in the workplace.


The Health and Safety Legislation has been effective over the years in reducing incidences of injury and accidents at the workplace. Reviews of the Act will be necessary due to the ever-changing environment and technologies. The definition of the workplace is ever evolving and the Health and Safety Legislation must change to remain relevant and have the interest of the employees at heart. noise risk assessment here, by SHE Global.