General health and safety in the workplace


This cross-cutting theme is now closed for comments.

You can read comments made since the start of the Red Tape Challenge in April 2011 below.

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These regulations are designed to prevent death, injury and ill-health in the workplace including carrying out risk assessments and reporting major injuries.

You can find all 51 regulations that relate to general health and safety in the workplace here [opens in new window].

You can find all the regulations that relate to General health and safety in the workplace below to the left.

Adventure Activities (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 2004

These regulations set out the demarcation in enforcement responsibilities between HSE and Local Authorities in relation to adventure activities.

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Adventure Activities Licensing Regulations 2004

These regulations set out what providers of adventure activities need to do to obtain a licence.

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Celluloid and Cinematograph Film Act 1922 (Exemptions) Regulations 1980

These regulations allow HSE to grant exceptions to requirements of the Celluloid and Cinematograph Film1922 Act.

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Celluloid and Cinematograph Film Act 1922 (Repeals and Modifications) Regulations 1974

These regulations repealed and modified provisions to the Celluloid and Cinematograph Film 1922 Act in relation to; general safety, penalties, power of entry, power to take samples and obstructions of officers.

Confined Spaces Regulations 1997

These regulations impose requirements and prohibitions with respect to the health and safety of persons carrying out work in confined spaces who are at risk from specified hazards such as asphyxiation, noxious or explosive fumes, fires etc.

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Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010

These regulations impose duties on employers to protect employees and others who may be exposed to risk from artificial optical radiation (ie hazardous sources of bright light such as lasers).

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Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005

These regulations set out what employers need to do to reduce and control the risks from exposure to noise at work.

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Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005

These regulations set out what employers need to do to reduce and control the risks from exposure to vibration at work.

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Electricity at Work Regulations 1989

These regulations impose requirements to prevent harm from the use of electricity at work and for the control of electrical systems to ensure they are maintained in a safe condition.

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Employers’ Health and Safety Policy Statements (Exception) Regulations 1975

These regulations exempt small businesses (fewer than 5 employees) from preparing a written health and safety policy

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Employment Medical Advisory Service (Factories Act Orders etc Amendment) Order 1973

This Order provides that medical examinations etc must be performed by fully registered medical practitioners appointed under the provisions of the Employment Medical Advisory Service Act 1972.

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Factories Act (Docks, Building and Engineering Construction, etc) Modification Regulations 1938

These regulations extended notification requirements to docks, building and engineering construction.

Factories Act 1937 (Extension of Section 46) Regulations 1948

These regulations extend a regulation-making power in the Factories Act 1937 so that it includes canteens.

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Factories Act 1961 and Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act 1963 (Repeals and Modifications) Regulations 2009

These regulations remove requirements to keep registers and display certain notices in workplaces.

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Factories Act 1961 (Repeals) Regulations 1975

These regulations remove duties under the Act that are covered under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

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Factories Act 1961 etc (Metrication) Regulations 1983

These regulations update imperial measurements in the Act to metric measurements.

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Factories Act 1961 etc (Repeals and Modifications) Regulations 1974

These regulations transfers functions of inspectors appointed under the Act to those appointed under the Health and Safety at Work Act,

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Factories Act 1961 etc (Repeals) Regulations 1976

These regulations repeal redundant parts of the Act following the introduction of new fire safety legislation.

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Factory and Workshop Act 1901, use of locomotives and wagons on lines and sidings, Regulations 1906

These regulations impose duties on the occupiers of factories or workshops, where locomotives, wagons or other rolling stock are used. Occupiers must maintain capstans, lines of rails and points and properly construct and maintain every gantry.

Fire Precautions Act 1971 (Modifications) (Revocation) Regulations 1989

These regulations revoke the Fire Precautions Act 1971 (Modifications) Regulations 1976.

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Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996

These regulations require employers to consult their employees on health and safety issues.

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Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992

These regulations set out the minimum safety and health requirements for work with display screen equipment.

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Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1998

These regulations determine where HSE and local authorities will enforce health and safety legislation.

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Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2010

These regulations update existing charges and introduce new charges made for performance, mainly by the HSE, of a range of statutory functions.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981

These regulations govern the provision of first-aid by employers and the self-employed.

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Health and Safety Information for Employees (Amendment) Regulations 2009

These regulations relate to the provision to employees of the addresses of the enforcing authority and the employment medical advisory service.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety (Leasing Arrangements) Regulations 1992

These regulations clarify who has duties when equipment for use at work is supplied under a lease arrangement.

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Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002

These regulations brings together in one place a number of minor amendments to various pieces of health and safety legislation.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Metrication etc) Regulations 1992

These regulations substitute metric units for imperial units in relation to two Acts.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety (Repeals and Revocations) Regulations 1995

These regulations repealed redundant orders and regulations made under Factories Act.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety (Repeals and Revocations) Regulations 1996

These regulations repeal redundant legislation made under Factories Act.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996

These regulations impose duties on employers to provide and maintain safety signs.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety (Training for Employment) Regulations 1990

These regulations apply health and safety legislation to those undertaking work experience or who are training for employment.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (Application outside Great Britain) Order 2001

This Order extends the Health and Safety at Work Act and some regulations made under the Act, beyond the mainland of Great Britain to specified offshore areas and work activities (e.g. offshore installations and windfarms).

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety Information for Employees (Modifications and Repeals) Regulations 1995

These regulations provide for the application of the 1989 regulations beyond Great Britain.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations 1989

These regulations require employers to provide health and safety information to their employees by means of an approved poster or leaflets.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety Inquiries (Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 1976

These Regulations amend the Health and Safety Inquiries (Procedure) Regulations 1975 which transferred to HSE responsibilities for farm safety.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety Inquiries (Procedure) Regulations 1975

These regulations prescribe the procedure for HSE inquiries into accidents and other matters held under section 14 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety Licensing Appeals (Hearings Procedure) (Scotland) Rules 1974

These regulations set out the procedures to be followed in Scotland to appeals about the issue of licences made under the Health and Safety at Work etc, Act 1974.

Health and Safety Licensing Appeals (Hearings Procedure) Rules 1974

These rules prescribe the procedure for appeals from a licensing decision under section 44 HSWA.

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Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998

These regulations impose safety requirements in relation to lifting equipment and lifting operations.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Management of Health and Safety at Work and Fire Precautions (Workplace) (Amendment) Regulations 2003

These regulations confer civil litigation rights to employers in respect of breaches of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

These regulations require employers and the self-employed to put in place measures to manage risks to workers and others arising from their business activities.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Management of Health and Safety at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2006

These regulations extend protection to employees against civil claims by third parties to employees in respect of two sets of regulations.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992

These regulations impose safety requirements on the manual handling of loads.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act 1963 (Repeals and Modifications) Regulations 1974

These regulations transfers functions of inspectors appointed under the Act to those appointed under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act 1963 (Repeals) Regulations 1975

These regulations remove duties from Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act that are covered under the Health and Safety at Work Act (eg penalisation of dangerous acts and interference with equipment).

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act 1963 etc (Repeals) Regulations 1976

These regulations repeal redundant parts of the Act as a result of the introduction of new fire safety legislation.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992

These regulations require personal protective equipment to be used by workers in certain circumstances.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Police (Health and Safety) Regulations 1999 + (Commencement) Order

These regulations extend to police officers regulations made under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Pottery (Health and Welfare) Special Regulations 1950

These regulations prescribe maximum and minimum temperatures in workrooms used for making pottery.

Pottery (Health etc) (Metrication) Regulations 1982

These regulations amend 2 sets of regulations by substituting amounts expressed in metric units for amounts not so expressed., ie degrees Celsius for degrees Fahrenheit.

Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000

These regulations impose safety requirements in relation to pressure systems.

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Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

These regulations impose health and safety requirements in relation to providing equipment for use at work.

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Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995

These regulations require employers to report certain accidents at work and diseases contracted by persons at work to HSE or a local authority.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977

These regulations provide for the appointment of safety representatives for employees.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Work at Height Regulations 2005

These regulations impose safety requirements on working at height.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Work at Height (Amendment) Regulations 2007

These amendment Regulations amend the Work at Height Regulations 2005 so as to apply those Regulations to persons whose work concerns the provision of instruction or leadership to one or more persons in connection with their engagement in caving or climbing by way of sport, recreation, team building or similar activities.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

These regulations impose general health, safety and welfare requirements for workplaces (eg maintenance).

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Agriculture (Metrication) Regulations 1981

These regulations amend agricultural legislation by substituting metric units for Imperial units.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1998

These regulations determine where HSE and local authorities will enforce health and safety legislation.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2010

These regulations update existing charges and introduce new charges made for performance, mainly by the HSE, of a range of statutory functions.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety (First-Aid) Regulations 1981

These regulations govern the provision of first-aid by employers and the self-employed.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety Information for Employees (Amendment) Regulations 2009

These regulations relate to the provision to employees of the addresses of the enforcing authority and the employment medical advisory service.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety (Leasing Arrangements) Regulations 1992

These regulations clarify who has duties when equipment for use at work is supplied under a lease arrangement.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002

These regulations brings together in one place a number of minor amendments to various pieces of health and safety legislation.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Metrication etc) Regulations 1992

These regulations substitute metric units for imperial units in relation to two Acts.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety (Repeals and Revocations) Regulations 1995

These regulations repealed redundant orders and regulations made under Factories Act.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety (Repeals and Revocations) Regulations 1996

These regulations repeal redundant legislation made under Factories Act.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996

These regulations impose duties on employers to provide and maintain safety signs.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety (Training for Employment) Regulations 1990

These regulations apply health and safety legislation to those undertaking work experience or who are training for employment.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (Application outside Great Britain) Order 2001

This Order extends the Health and Safety at Work Act and some regulations made under the Act, beyond the mainland of Great Britain to specified offshore areas and work activities (e.g. offshore installations and windfarms).

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety Information for Employees (Modifications and Repeals) Regulations 1995

These regulations provide for the application of the 1989 regulations beyond Great Britain.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations 1989

These regulations require employers to provide health and safety information to their employees by means of an approved poster or leaflets.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety Inquiries (Procedure) (Amendment) Regulations 1976

These Regulations amend the Health and Safety Inquiries (Procedure) Regulations 1975 which transferred to HSE responsibilities for farm safety.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety Inquiries (Procedure) Regulations 1975

These regulations prescribe the procedure for HSE inquiries into accidents and other matters held under section 14 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Health and Safety Licensing Appeals (Hearings Procedure) (Scotland) Rules 1974

These regulations set out the procedures to be followed in Scotland to appeals about the issue of licences made under the Health and Safety at Work etc, Act 1974.

Health and Safety Licensing Appeals (Hearings Procedure) Rules 1974

These rules prescribe the procedure for appeals from a licensing decision under section 44 HSWA.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998

These regulations impose safety requirements in relation to lifting equipment and lifting operations.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Management of Health and Safety at Work and Fire Precautions (Workplace) (Amendment) Regulations 2003

These regulations confer civil litigation rights to employers in respect of breaches of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

These regulations require employers and the self-employed to put in place measures to manage risks to workers and others arising from their business activities.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Management of Health and Safety at Work and Fire Precautions (Workplace) (Amendment) Regulations 2003

These regulations confer civil litigation rights to employers in respect of breaches of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

These regulations require employers and the self-employed to put in place measures to manage risks to workers and others arising from their business activities.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Management of Health and Safety at Work (Amendment) Regulations 2006

These regulations extend protection to employees against civil claims by third parties to employees in respect of two sets of regulations.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992

These regulations impose safety requirements on the manual handling of loads.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act 1963 (Repeals and Modifications) Regulations 1974

These regulations transfers functions of inspectors appointed under the Act to those appointed under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act 1963 (Repeals) Regulations 1975

These regulations remove duties from Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act that are covered under the Health and Safety at Work Act (eg penalisation of dangerous acts and interference with equipment).

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act 1963 etc (Repeals) Regulations 1976

These regulations repeal redundant parts of the Act as a result of the introduction of new fire safety legislation.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992

These regulations require personal protective equipment to be used by workers in certain circumstances.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Police (Health and Safety) Regulations 1999 + (Commencement) Order

These regulations extend to police officers regulations made under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Pottery (Health and Welfare) Special Regulations 1950

These regulations prescribe maximum and minimum temperatures in workrooms used for making pottery.

Pottery (Health etc) (Metrication) Regulations 1982

These regulations amend 2 sets of regulations by substituting amounts expressed in metric units for amounts not so expressed., ie degrees Celsius for degrees Fahrenheit.

Pressure Systems Safety Regulations 2000

These regulations impose safety requirements in relation to pressure systems.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

These regulations impose health and safety requirements in relation to providing equipment for use at work.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995

These regulations require employers to report certain accidents at work and diseases contracted by persons at work to HSE or a local authority.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977

These regulations provide for the appointment of safety representatives for employees.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Work at Height Regulations 2005

These regulations impose safety requirements on working at height.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Work at Height (Amendment) Regulations 2007

These amendment Regulations amend the Work at Height Regulations 2005 so as to apply those Regulations to persons whose work concerns the provision of instruction or leadership to one or more persons in connection with their engagement in caving or climbing by way of sport, recreation, team building or similar activities.

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

These regulations impose general health, safety and welfare requirements for workplaces (eg maintenance).

Read More… (opens in a new window)

Tell us what you think should happen to these regulations and why, being specific where possible:

710 responses to General health and safety in the workplace

  • user_id){ ?>

    John Davison said on June 8, 2012 at 9:39 am

    First of all be clear that frustration with red tape is found at every level of the workforce. It is not just about greedy CEOs putting workers’ lives at risk. It is about people who have done a job well for forty years balking at having to fill in a form to do a simple job which should have no paperwork attached at all. It is about electricians balking at having to build a tower to change a light bulb. The H&S Exec is a laughing-stock, and currently it deserves to be. The long-term solution is to abolish the HSE and replace it with old-fashioned inspectors working directly for local and central government, and who clearly understand the difference between what is life-saving and what is foolish jobsworthy-ness. As long as you have an organisation whose continued existence depends on making up new pieces of legislation, you have a recipe for ridiculous levels of red tape. For example, H&S have just brought out a new rule that anti-slip treads on stairs have to be so many shades lighter than the stair carpet. Completely pointless but a wonderful way to make people spend money uselessly.

    • user_id){ ?>

      Mike H said on June 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm

      Really John, do people actually balk at a piece of paper and it would depend where the lightbulb is to need a scaffold. What is the HSE if not an inspector working for the government. On the stair treads issue, I am aware of the Building Regulations 1999 Part M and Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (which I wouldn’t call recent) that require visual contrast on stair nosings for the assistance of the sight impaired and that you find this ‘completely pointless’ and also that neither of these documents are actually penned by the HSE.

      Comment Tags: accurate, factual

  • user_id){ ?>

    Tony Shore said on May 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Central Government could reform the way that ammendments are made to legislation.By simply updating a piece of legislation and publishing as an complete ammended document would make legisaltion a lot easier to understand, rather than producing ammendment after ammendment.

  • user_id){ ?>

    Simon Butterworth said on May 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    The changes to RIDDOR were heralded as saving industry 10,000’s of hours of unnecessary work. So far I have found that to the contrary as all my reporting systems have had to be changed, enabling the separation of both 3 and 7 day absence thresholds. We also need to review our HR records to try and extract relevant historical data so that we can make trend analysis against the new criteria in addition to the old one. The Exec team want to ensure that we have consistency of information, such that we would in fact have been better not making any changes. It would seem that only the HSE will benefit from less work and not industry. Please can the Government take proper account of the full impact of proposed changes. This is one change that has so far had the reverse effect to that intended and promoted.

    Comment Tags: RIDDOR changes

  • user_id){ ?>

    Nigel Daniels said on April 26, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    I just want to note that in France there is no equivalent of the Health and Safety Executive, yet they seem to be alive and well. Why not close the entire edifice? It seems that an industry has accreted around 30 years old legislation that continually invents ‘dangers’ to justify it’s continued existence. Many of our laws are based on the term ‘reasonable’ why not replace the whole framework with the notion that people take reasonable care.

    • user_id){ ?>

      Christian Briant said on April 27, 2012 at 10:45 am

      I don’t believe France have a great safety record at all… are we talking about the same country? More drink drive accidents than any other European country? What are the stats bcaking your statement Nigel? If as you say there is no French HSE I assume there are no figures to make a fair comparison? What is an acceptable accident & death rate?

      Comment Tags: French Safety Record

  • user_id){ ?>

    P.Baptiste said on March 28, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I work in H&S, I’m not a zealot, nor am I a jobsworth…indeed, namecalling only serves to isolate and confuse an important issue.
    That issue is interpretation, the 1974 act and all its subordinate regulations have undoubtably reduced death and serious injury, however some use H&S as an excuse to do nothing or line the pockets of blame/claim merchants.
    However, there is one area i do believe ‘we’ have an opportunity to ‘fix’….Eire decided to reduce the vast diverse and often unlinked (by enactment date and fashion) regulations, they done this by revising their act to be all encompassing. We now have achance to consolidate the diverse regs that demand the same things, for instance, risk assessment. If its required, then say its required for abc, xyz, we dont need a ranch of diverse regs that basically say the same thing…but please dont deregulate, or we will end up with more death, destruction and injury!

  • user_id){ ?>

    tony said on March 28, 2012 at 11:09 am

    H & S is sometimes now used as a reason (or excuse) for not allowing someone to something that is perfectly reasonable. going up stairs instead of using an escalator,

    Comment Tags: excuse

    • user_id){ ?>

      Christian Briant said on March 30, 2012 at 7:59 am

      Totally agree with you Tony, it is frustrating, unhelpful and damaging to public well-being. Sensible, reasonable and rational control is acceptable by all, the law and regulation cannot be blamed for stupidity. But what else can we expect from a Government that tells the country to fill up their tanks and then has a fuel crisis before any crisis has occurred. Poor decision making and blind meddling, there are a great deal more good Safety Officers than bad, and those that usually enforce the ridiculous are usually nothing more than ‘wanna-be health & safety officers’ appointed by those that put profit before the price of selecting and assigning the experienced and rational minded in Safety.

  • user_id){ ?>

    Christian Briant said on March 27, 2012 at 8:55 am

    It isn’t broken so why are we fixing what protects us? Since the industrial revolution people have campaigned, and people have died. The greed that exists in injury claims has now been bolstered with a charging system within the HSE.
    Making ‘Elf & Safety’ better? No you have put more cost onto business more fear and more problems.
    Those who work in the H&S industry are sadly being ridiculed by the present government and it will have a negative national impact on business.
    While we are on this subject the OSCHR formation speaks for itself, only the academic privileged can work as ‘registered’ Health & Safety Consultants according to our current regime.
    The real world is out there, is no one in touch with it anymore?

  • user_id){ ?>

    Paul Beevers said on March 24, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I Chair a conservation group and the purpose of this letter is to draw attention to what we believe to be overzealous application of the “duty of care” that is used by Councils to justify a policy of cutting down, lopping and removing ivy from trees. We believe that it is contributing to an unnecessary loss of trees in the landscape at an age when they are at their most valuable to wildlife and interesting to people and including ancient woodland sites under LA control. This we feel is unnecessarily costly to local authorities and therefore Council Tax payers.

    We are not experts in the soundness or otherwise of trees, the intricacies of Health and Safety Legislation and land owner liability but we do have some understanding of the issues and debate around this including the “duty of care”. Our interest is in preserving biodiversity and enhancing the woodland and other eco-systems, safely within acceptable tolerances and within the law. This includes our desire for woodlands to be a safe places for children to learn as well. Sometimes the law requires interpretation and a balance to be struck that is not always easy, we understand that.

    We are aware of recent guidance to the forestry industry e.g. The National Tree Safety Group (NTSG) Common Sense Risk Management of Trees, and the long standing Health and Safety Executive (HSE) SIM 01/2007/05 Management of the Risk from Falling Trees. These documents emphasise the importance of a measured process and are a response to fears about legal liability and a ‘risk averse’ approach to tree management that can avoidably deprive landscape, biodiversity and people with the benefits of totemic natural features. (See Appendix A).

    We would like to be reassured therefore that Health and Safety processes are balanced and also, that Councils have regard for conserving flora and fauna biodiversity in ways that reflect the intent of the NERC Act 2006. Biodiversity 2020 too looks towards enhancing the management of Local Sites (known locally as Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation or SINC’s and encourages public engagement in the management of public land which is what we strive to do.

    Ancient and semi-ancient woodland and almost any broadleaved tree that has reached maturity is a home to a wide diversity of flora and fauna that will have increased as a tree ages. Trees that are dead or dying, standing and fallen are becoming fewer but they are a major source of biodiversity that is disappearing. Old trees by their very nature have rotting wood, holes, splits, ivy, but they make perfect homes for invertebrates, lichens, mosses, fungi, bats and birds. In short, old trees support a great range of interlocking species that increase in number as trees age and some of which will only flourish when a tree becomes old.

    In summary and especially in the light of the 2 reports referred to above we feel that Councils take an unduly risk averse approach to tree management which is damaging to biodiversity and costly to fulfil. We wish to ask if the Red Tape Challenge would look critically at this issue.

    Paul Beevers
    (text deleted)
    Appendix A Tree Management Background

    1. The Interim Progress Report of the Independent Panel on Forestry delivered in December confirms the following;
    o Just 10% (1,294,000 hectares) of England is wooded compared to the European average of 34%.
    o Of England’s 10%, 66% are broadleaved trees and 33% coniferous.
    o Only 2.6% of English woodland is ancient woodland.

    2. The number of people who die from tree accidents averages 6 per year(HSE SIM 01/2007/05) (and several of those are from trees blown on to cars on roads). That is 1 person in 10 million. Below, reference is made to the fact that the HSE itself believes 1 in 1 million per year corresponds to a very low level of risk.

    NTSG document states “……accordingly, the HSE has identified that an individual risk of death of one in one million per year for both workers and the public corresponds to a very low level of risk, and this should be used as a guideline for the threshold between the broadly acceptable and tolerable regions. It [HSE]points out that this level of risk is extremely small when compared with the general background level of risk which people face and engage with voluntarily.”

    “So far as non-fatal injuries in the UK are concerned, the number of accident and emergency cases (A&E) attributable to being struck by trees (about 55 a year) is exceedingly small compared with the roughly 2.9 million leisure-related A&E cases per year. Footballs (262,000), children’s swings (10,900) and even wheelie bins (2,200) are involved in many more incidents.”

    In the context of the low level of risk noted already, the HSE SIM 01/2007/05 further states that:
    “Given the large number of trees in public spaces across the country, control measures that involve inspecting and recording every tree would appear to be grossly disproportionate to the risk.”

    The NTSG Page 26 argues that “…organisations that publish and maintain a tree strategy or management plan, part of which includes information on their risk management plan for the trees they own, are much better placed to demonstrate they have fulfilled their duty of care”.

    The NTSG does qualify this view. “… such a reasonable strategy, articulating the benefits of trees, should, in the view of the NTSG, carry as much weight in protecting the tree owner against litigation following an incident as any factory’s reasonable risk management policy. It is important to note that this is an emerging area within the field of managing safety risks to the public.”

    3. NTSG Page 17 “Trees’ capacity for long life and their ability to grow to great height and size makes them important to people, providing durable and useful materials, and protection from the elements. When allowed to complete their natural life cycle, trees provide habitat supporting a diversity of dependent species and, generally, as trees age, their associated biodiversity increases. Trees are keystone species. Their importance for biodiversity is such that, when they are removed from an ecosystem, the entire set of connections between inter-dependent species breaks down and the system collapses”.

    Comment Tags: felling, trees

  • user_id){ ?>

    Robert Martinez said on March 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Have Health and Safety regulations led to a reduction in death and injury at work? Yes
    Is this a good thing? Yes
    The common sense approach is generally all that is needed. You hear about daft Health and Safety problems like conkers being banned but that is nothing to do with Health and Safety regulations and everything to do with stupid people not doing their job properly. The regulations are on the face of it appears onerous but the basic principle is that employers should provide PPE and mitigate risks (not unreasonable) and that employees should use PPE and not to do stupid things (not unreasonable).
    If badly run companies decide that they need to have a 15 page risk assessment form filled out every time someone needs to travel then market forces will punish these inefficient and bureaucratic companies. That’s capitalism.
    I remember hearing a lot of people complaining about car seat belts being made mandatory. I never hear those complaints now. It’s called progress.

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    Mike Corfield said on March 2, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Health and Safety regulations were initiated to reduce risks from dangerous practices that had been the cause of major injuries or death. In the intervening years these have been largely brought under control but a huge Health and Safety industry has been created that pervades and invades the life of everone in the country. Lacking any significant rists to be mitigated the H&S army hunts out any possible risk that might cause the slightest injury to the unwary. Common sense and personal assessment of risk is no longer allowed and it should be. The best way of allowing this is to reestablish the concept of personal responsibility and common sense and the idea that someone is to blame and must pay for the slightest accident.

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    Ian Roberts said on February 26, 2012 at 9:42 am

    i think that personnel who are given the job of Health and Safety rep at various companys should not be so over zealous, As an HGV driver I am quite fed up with being treated as a complete moron. Why should I hand my vehicle keys in, and apply trailer brake, and remove rewd airline, and chock the wheels and then haev to sit in a restroom/ canteen area for up to several hours. All in the name of health and safety with some fool going around saying “its the law” so my thoughts to improve this legislation would be either to remove thses aore mentioned idiots and make some form of standard rule, as no two places seem to agree on the rules

    Comment Tags: Ian’s comment

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      Christian Briant said on March 27, 2012 at 9:03 am

      Ian surely it is simply common sense to take your keys out when others are to load your lorry? I am confused as to why you are so upset about it…
      On the subject of not the same rules I agree a unilateral standard would be a better way for all drivers.

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    Marion said on February 24, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    As an Office Manager I care for my colleagues, I do not need laws or regulations to do so and I strongly believe that most of us share the same value.

    Common sense should prevail. A case by case system should be in place because yes some people do need more help than others but let’s be honest, it is not the case for everybody.

    Costly, agree, but only at the beginning. Then we get use to the fact that we cannot blame someone else for our own actions and the amount of cases will reduce.

    We have created this system that makes us all indigent and almost proud to be … I personally think it is a shame.

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      Jenny B said on March 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      Common sense does prevail.. An office is a low risk premises and a minimal amount of legislation applies. The balance is correct.

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    David B said on February 21, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    I am absolutely amazed at the comments people have made on here on their views towards health & safety and what they feel is just a massive inconvenience. All these comments show us is that health & safety legislation is not the problem but peoples undertsanding of it is. People generally find it dificult to see health and safety management as two different objectives 1.Thought Process and 2.Evidence of your thought process to ultimately achieve accident/incident prevention, instead they see it as a paperwork exercise. The common sense approach should also be applied to the many individuals that see health & safety management as a waste of time or a paperwork exercise, where in fact peoples negative perceptions only demonstrate a true lack of understanding of ‘Reasonably Practicable’ and how to apply the term. The route of the problem is the public awareness of ‘Reasonably Practicable’ and the publics general ignorance towards attempting to understand it whcih is demonstrated through ridiculous comments. Maybe the public should see how other countries in and outside the EU manage health & safety then they will soon realise the purpose and principles of health & safety legislation. Simple educate the obviously uneducated.

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    Helena said on February 9, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    My postgraduate research has been disrupted by overzealous health and safety enforcement at the university. This has been a severe inconvenience. I was forced to fill out a 15-page “risk assessment” before going abroad to Asia, even though this is desk research with a few expert interviews in the social sciences! The university ‘Health and Safety Manager’ found a few omissions in the document and sent me an aggressive email demanding that I redo the assessment, even though I was already abroad and extremely busy. I offered to sign something declaring I will take responsibility for myself. I was refused this request and the university forced me to declare I would remain “with other staff members at all times” for the duration of my trip. I have been told to comply with this ridiculous and unrealistic request, to the detriment of my research. There is no channel with which to complain about the behaviour of the rude “jobsworth” in the admin department. We should at least be given the choice about whether to sign a simple disclaimer accepting responsibility ourselves.

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    cedric sloan said on January 27, 2012 at 11:28 am

    By applying common sense :
    The MD and a fellow director of one my contracting company members were detained by the police recently. Why ? Because a fully qualified tradesman overseen by a fully qualified supervisor hurt his elbow, wnen he (the fully qualified craftsman) received a minor electrical shock from a wire he was re-fixing. The hospital reported the injury, the police were called and arrested the 2 directors (nowhere near the incident site) for lack of due diligence. The company were required to develop an in-house electrical training regime for all their tradesmen – over and above the qualifications they already hold – at considerable expense and loss of time on site. How absurd that directors were arrested, for the act of qualified people on site. Where has personal responsibilty gone ?

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      Andy said on February 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      I’m just wondering, was the fully qualified tradesman given any choice by his fully qualified (not sure what that is) superviser in how he carried out the task? Also fully qualified tradesman is a bit ambiguous this could be a plasterer, stone mason ect, not necessarily anyone who would no anything about electrics. This is why health and safety law exists, to prevent people who don’t necessarily know better being foced to carry out tasks they shouldn’t

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      Amazed said on February 14, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      1. the police only have jurisdiction if there is a possibility of assault or manslaughter

      2. There is undoubtedly more to the situation than you set out as the police cannot require done do what you say. They have no basis in law to require the action you describe – this is what safety inspectors are for .

      Comment Tags: Sceptical

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    J. Elliott said on January 19, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Working at height regs are mostly crazy. Working from a step ladder or normal ladder needs COMMON SENSE only. It’s like most Health & Safety law, Common Sense is all that is needed and if you are stupic enough not to take care when in a dangerouse situation then you deserve all you get. Get Rid Of The NANNY STATE.

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      Jenny B said on March 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      You obviously have no knowledge of the statistical evidence of injuries caused by falls from height i.e. the number of deaths caused by significant falls; the long term injuries caused by falls from minimal heights or the number of work days lost and the enormous cost to the health service and the country. And presumably you are in a fortunate position where you are not required by an employer to carry heavy items up and down stepladers or lose your job.

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    Richard said on January 15, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Health and Safety at work is as important as business, I do not write this from an opinion but from experience of being on the receiving end of an industrial injury (the most relevant of experience of all). A massive contribution to GDP is legislation, as products are developed from helping Health and Safety at work. These provide jobs and wealth that purchase all products in all areas. I am disappointed when I see companies complaining about the legislation instead of being innovative, inspired by providing a safe working environment. The cost of legislation is in the price of the goods/services provided, to which is far less than the cost of benefits, legal and ultimately to life and quality of life. Help with the costs from government to enable companies to adhere to legislation is what is needed, such as reduced taxation on its H&S procurement. Self regulation is why so many injuries end up in a court battle because companies cannot be relied upon to be honest and compliant to H&S when profit margins are squeezed.

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    Janice Bardwell said on January 12, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    The legislation does not need changing just the interpretation of it. I was called to a meeting about company insurance claims. I differentiate between what is the law and what is good practice to my clients as I have always done whether as an enforcement officer or Occupational Safety and Health Registered Consultant as I am now. What the Insurers were asking for as a basic standard was just “over the rainbow”. This included detailed risk assessments for every activity; documented training for using a step up or three step stepladder for every single person employed in the companies very small shops!
    Fear of litigation increases demands for over coverage. I saw an advert last week for a safety officer at large public school. They wanted someone full time, paid, £35,000 a year. This person would be bound to impose multiple systems to justify their existence. One day a week would probably still be far too much time allocated – even with doing training. Such a highly qualified person (with CMIOSH ) would be so much better used working in making construction or industry safer.

    Many comments make claims about inspectors but as there are diminishing numbers both at the HSE and in Environmental Health there won’t be anybody left to investigate serious accidents and fatalities let alone carry out routine inspections. I speak as one of the now redundant senior experienced officers. Much of my time was spent myth busting and assisting small business with understanding how little was actually required of them. My last Local Authority ceased carrying out routine inspections of low risk premises years ago. The last fatality I investigated was in a low risk business employing four people.

    Everyone wants to get rid of red tape, legislation and inspectors until they are injured or lose a loved one to an accident. Now working in private practice I have come across some inspectors who do not seem to fully understand the terms risk assessments and reasonably practicable. I would have previously defended all enforcement officers but now I am not so sure. This relates back to my comments about misinterpretations and lack of senior experienced officers who are no longer around to teach, guide and monitor work. Inspectors too are often under pressure in our damned if you do act and dammed if you don’t and then something goes wrong.

    I would commend anyone who is not sure about Health and Safety requirements to visit the HSE website. There are ready made basic risk assessments, clear guidance and even a whole section on simple safety. Tidy up and consolidate some of the trail ends of legislation and improve RIDDOR to make it clearer but don’t throw anything else out. It is interesting that each of the Government enquiries seems to have reached the conclusion that not much needs changing yet still the prime minister announces this is the year he is going to deal with Health and Safely and cites a 7 year old myth in support of it.

    Health and safety can make a major contribution to reducing death and morbidity keeping people safe at work means they are not having to claim welfare benefits because they are injured or ill through their previous work activity. Keep the legislation and control the Zealots and myths with improved publicity.

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    Joshua Barker said on January 11, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    I think that there are too many gaps filled in the law to allow reasonable activities to take place, like climbing a ladder without signing a form, and people having accidents and forgetting they were “accidents”. It doesn’t allow people to go about their business anymore because it keeps them too safe. We may as well make all floors out of foam. To improve this legislation, I would make it more reasonable and simpler.

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    Steve Tunstall said on January 8, 2012 at 5:09 am

    Managing healh and safety in a robust and responsible way protects businesses from massive losses. When workers get injured or become unwell due to poor working conditions the companies that they work for incur extra costs, such as ; replacement/temporary staff, compensation claims, lost production, cost of investigations, fines increased insurance premiums, the list goes on and on, why can’t british management see the wood for the trees. Protecting the workforce and having a robust H&S policy demonstrates the company’s committment to it’s workforce improving morale and influencing productivity srving in the same way as quality and training do to enhance reputation in the market. Getting it wrong can and has ruined businesses. Let’s have reliable figures produced by independent bodies to inform decision making and improving the lot of workforces in Britain, let workers feel valued and independent not down trodden and worthless. A fit strong workforce will help to put Britain back on it’s feet especially if fewer people have to rely on benefite because of an injury or disease contracted whilst at work.

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