In the United Kingdom there are many regulations relevant to health, safety and welfare at work. Many of these give effect to European Union directives.
Breach of the regulations is a crime throughout the UK. In England and Wales it is punishable on summary conviction with a fine of up to £20,000 or, if convicted on indictment in the Crown Court, an offender can be sentenced to an unlimited fine .Either an individual or a corporation can be punished and sentencing practice is published by the Sentencing Guidelines Council.
In England and Wales, where a person suffers damage caused by a breach of the regulations, they have a cause of action in tort against the offender, except where the regulations state otherwise. A similar right of action exists in Scotland through the law of delict.
A full list of all UK Health & Safety legislation can be found on the HSE website.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a duty on employers to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all their employees. This is further endorsed by the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which underline the need for formal arrangements and policies to manage the occupational health and safety of all individuals in a place of work
Under the Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999, the employer must make an assessment of the risks to the health and safety of employees and others arising from processes undertaken by an organisation. This process is known as a Health and Safety Risk Assessment and can be of great benefit to any organisation with respect to generating a healthier and safer work place.
According to the Health and Safety Executive the Health and Safety Risk Assessment process should follow five key steps;
WELNET LIMITED has developed a generic risk assessment, which can be applied to many standard technical environments. We have also produced a generic risk assessment for the standard office environment.
From these assessments we have developed our working methods and standards in order to produce our generic method statement. This document details our work practices and procedures and covers all aspects of our services..
We can produce detailed site-specific risk assessments when requested (usually by clients who have unusual or hazardous premises) and from these assessments we produce site-specific methods and practices.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 is a United Kingdom Statutory Instrument that states general requirements on employers to protect employees and other persons from the hazards of substances used at work by risk assessment, control of exposure, health surveillance and incident planning. There are also duties on employees' to take care of their own exposure to hazardous substances and prohibitions on the import of certain substances into the European Economic Area. The regulations reenacted with amendments the Control of Substances Hazardous to Work Regulations 1999 and implement several European Union directives.
Breach of the regulations by an employer or employee is a crime, punishable on summary conviction with a fine of up to £400. If convicted on indictment in the Crown Court, an offender can be sentenced to an unlimited fine. Either an individual or a corporation can be punished and sentencing practice is published by the Sentencing Guidelines Council. Enforcement is the responsibility of the Health and Safety Executive or in some cases, local authorities.
Where a person suffers damage caused by a breach of a duty imposed by regulations, they have a cause of action in tort against the offender.
The regulations are complementary to the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002 (CHIPS) which require labeling of hazardous substances by suppliers. There are other regulations concerning the labeling and signage of pipes and containers (Sch.7), and from 2008 a further level of control mechanism on dangerous chemicals will be added by the EU regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH).
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations have been in place for more than 20 years and the scientific evidence suggests that over this time industry has, in general, been consistently reducing exposure to hazardous substances.
Portable appliance testing (PAT) is the term used to describe the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use. Most electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination but some types of defect can only be found by testing. However, it is essential to understand that visual examination is an essential part of the process because some types of electrical safety defect can't be detected by testing alone.
A relatively brief user check (based upon simple training and perhaps assisted by the use of a brief checklist) can be a very useful part of any electrical maintenance regime. However, more formal visual inspection and testing by a competent person may also be required at appropriate intervals, depending upon the type of equipment and the environment in which it is used.