Health & Safety at Work Act

Health and Safety is one of the key areas of compliance. Regulations in this area aim to prevent workplace accidents and protect employees from danger by ensuring employers create a safe and suitable work environment.

Health and Safety legislation is built on the Health and Safety at Work Act. This act fundamentally requires employers to conduct workplace risk assessments and take reasonable steps to mitigate these risks.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local authorities are responsible for overseeing and enforcing Health and Safety regulations in the UK.

If you need help implementing your Health and Safety roadmap, we can suggest practical solutions.

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Health and Safety

Achieving Health & Safety Compliance

The HSE guides Health and Safety regulations related to specific industries or processes used across multiple industries. Employers need to keep an eye on this guidance as the HSE implements changes in line with changes in technology. With any change, risks and the assessment measures will also change accordingly.

Health and Safety regulations are, where appropriate, proposed in a goal-setting format. Employers are required to meet these goals. It's an employer's duty to provide their staff with sufficient training and information on how to comply with regulations and, in some industries, how to use dangerous equipment.

Health & Safety at Work Act 1974

The Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) is the main legislation covering Health and Safety in the UK workplace. This Act outlines the responsibilities of both employer and employee in ensuring a safe working environment.

Employer responsibilities

  • Ensure facilities meet minimal Health and Safety requirements in terms of ventilation, temperature and noise
  • Make sure all staff have Health and Safety training
  • Provide appropriate clothing, where necessary
  • Ensure there is an up-to-date Health and Safety policy for the company with emergency procedures in place
  • Make sure all equipment is properly maintained and safe to use

Employee responsibilities

  • Report illness or injury that could affect their ability to work
  • Take reasonable care when it comes to the safety of themselves and others
  • Cooperate with their employer on following Health and Safety policies
  • Be sure not to interfere with or misuse safety equipment

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HSE Six Pack

Companies can achieve Health and Safety compliance by meeting the 'six-pack' regulations. This term describes six of the UK's most widely quoted Health and Safety regulations, which the European Commission implemented.

Failure to comply with these regulations could result in hefty fines.

The complete pack of six regulations includes:

1. The Management of Health & Safety at Work

This regulation states employers need to assess all significant risks to their staff, considering employees' age, experience, etc.

2. Manual Handling Operations

This set of regulations states that employers need to avoid manual handling tasks that risk employee injury. In cases where these tasks are impossible to avoid, employers must assess the risk and take steps to mitigate the risk.

3. Display Screen Equipment (DSE)

These regulations encompass the use of entire workstations, including, but not exclusively, the use of monitors and display screens. Employees are entitled to interrupt screen use and to paid-for eye tests.

4. Workplace (Health, Safety & Welfare)

This regulation set involves the upkeep and maintenance of the workplace. The regulations cover everything from drinking water and washing facilities to ventilation and temperature.

5. Provision & Use of Work Equipment

Under this set of regulations, employers need to ensure that all work equipment is suitable, well-maintained, safe to use, and there is no access to dangerous parts of any machinery. Employers also need to ensure sufficient information and training on using dangerous equipment correctly.

6. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

These regulations state that employers need to provide employees with suitable PPE if they cannot control risks in another way. Employers need to conduct a risk assessment before buying any PPE, and they are also required to keep PPE clean and in good repair. In addition, employers must provide storage for the PPE and instructions for staff on using and maintaining the PPE.

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations is the main set of regulations in the Health and Safety 'six-pack'. Outside of this pack, several other regulations are specific to Health and Safety training requirements.

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Health & Safety Training

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, employers must provide employees with information, training and instruction necessary to ensure safety at work, where reasonably practicable.

To help you stay on the right side of the HSE's guidance, we provide a comprehensive set of training aids and e-learning courses to educate your employees on a range of safety regulations.

Key Health & Safety Courses
E-learning courses available in our Health and Safety course library include:

  • Display Screen Equipment (DSE)
  • Fire safety
  • Ladder and stepladder use
  • Lone working
  • Manual handling
  • Slips and trips
  • Work equipment
  • Work-related stress
  • Working at height

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Improving Health & Safety at Work

In line with Health and Safety regulations which require employers to take action to safeguard their employees, here are some practical ways to improve your Health and Safety efforts:

  • Hire a Health and Safety officer to inspect your work building
A full inspection is important but don't try to do this independently. A registered Health and Safety Officer will be better qualified to detect any potential hazards or risks with the structure and layout of the building. If you identify any risks or hazards, you can start the process of rectifying them.
  • Create a Health and Safety policy with an emergency action plan
    Having a policy in place will help control and eliminate any potential hazards by informing your employees of your steps to improve Health and Safety. Keep first aid kits in a communal and easily accessible area and ensure your employees are fully aware of your fire drill procedure.
  • Maintain records and keep a Health and Safety logbook
    By keeping records of any first aid treatment administered, as well as the dates inspections took place and the outcome of those inspections, you will be in a better position to identify trends in any potential unsafe work conditions or procedures.
  • Hold regular meetings with your employees
    Involving your employees will allow them to voice their opinion or raise any concerns they may have.
  • Offer Health and Safety training to your staff
    Training should be at the core of your Health and Safety initiative and be compulsory for all employees, especially if there is a risk of injury associated with a particular job.

    The training should include any hazards and risks they may be likely to face in their work environment and implement emergency procedures and provide a full explanation of all the measures that your company has in place to eliminate potential hazards.

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Accident Books

Breaches in health and safety compliance could have severe consequences such as human injury and the loss of life. Therefore, employers need to fully document the achieved employee training and competency level. Employee disclosures are often required to indicate assessment completion, such as with the DSE Assessments.

Employers need to report all Health and Safety breaches. A robust breach-reporting process needs to be in place. This record should fully document all breaches, including evidence of how the firm deals with incidents and disciplinary action.

With a Skillcast Compliance Register, employers can run this type of workflow efficiently and analyse data over time to ensure Health and Safety compliance.

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Staff Surveys

Employees and managers are the first lines of defence against Health and Safety breaches. Their knowledge about the effectiveness of the compliance procedures in place is unparalleled. 

Staff surveys and questionnaires provide invaluable information and help to identify where there are inefficiencies. Conducting regular anonymous surveys helps to improve a company's Health and Safety policy and compliance procedures.

The Skillcast Compliance Survey Tool can help employers conduct robust, anonymous staff surveys that ensure the widest coverage and enable employees to give honest feedback.

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Health & Safety Best Practices

If you'd like to stay up to date with health and safety best practices, industry insights and key trends across regulatory compliance, digital learning, EdTech, and RegTech news, subscribe to Skillcast Compliance Bulletin.

8 Steps to Safer Lifting & Handling

According to the HSE and NHS, manual handling injuries account for more than a third of all UK work-related illnesses. We have 8 tips to help you avoid injury.

8 Steps to Safer Lifting & Handling

How to use RegTech for RIDDOR

Covid has put RIDDOR in the spotlight. Piles of paperwork can make compliance with this regulatory obligation a chore. This is where RegTech steps in.

Use RegTech for RIDDOR

Working Safely with Display Screen Equipment

About 36% of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries result from awkward positions or keyboards! We shed some light on how to work safely with display screen equipment.

Working Safely with Display Screen Equipment (DSE)

Fire Safety in the Workplace

Businesses failing to follow fire safety regulations risk the safety of their premises and employees and a fine and up to 2 years in prison. We look at how to ensure fire safety in the workplace.

Fire Safety in the Workplace


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Free Health & Safety Resources

We have 100+ free compliance training aids, including assessments, best-practice guides, checklists, desk aids, e-books, games, handouts, posters, training presentations and even e-learning modules.

Return to Work Compliance Checklist

Employers must ensure that they implement and communicate all the measures and controls needed to ensure compliance with the official guidance for working safely in offices.

Free Return to Work Compliance Checklist

DSE Training Presentation

Our interactive Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Training Presentation is designed to help your employees understand the risks associated with DSE and the measures they can take to help prevent any DSE-related injuries whilst working.

Free DSE Training Presentation

DSE Bite-sized Video & Quiz

Our bite-sized DSE refresher helps employees understand the key requirements in under 2 minutes.

Free Bite-sized DSE Video & Quiz

Workplace Stress Training Presentation

Our interactive training presentation will enable you to teach staff about the red flags of stress and how they can help ease the situation.

Free Workplace Stress Training Presentation

Employee Wellbeing Desk Aid

Work-related ill-health can negatively impact an employee's motivation and engagement. Our Employee Wellbeing desk aid outlines ways in which you can actively put your employees first and, in doing so, increase output, improve morale and engagement levels.

Employee Wellbeing Desk Aid

Workplace Accidents Training Presentation

Our interactive training aid is designed to help your staff understand exactly why safety is critical to a healthy working environment and understand the responsibilities of both the employer and employee as set out by the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Free Workplace  Accidents Training Presentation

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