FAQs about Health & Safety Law

Health and safety law

Why is health and safety law relevant to me?

Employees need to be aware that their employer is maintaining nationally held standards of safety in accordance with relevant Health and Safety Acts.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 imposes general duties on employers, employees and manufacturers, landlords, suppliers and designers to comply with UK health and safety laws.

How do I know which procedures in particular my employer has to abide by?

Your employer should issue you with a written policy explaining how they will ensure standards are maintained in your work place and how this affects you.

I am bringing a claim against my employer for breaching one of their health and safety rules. What are my chances of success?

The law will take into consideration the duties of an employer and balance those with necessity factors to complete work such as time constrains, cost restrictions and measures which could have been taken to reduce or avoid the cause of injury. In so doing the court will be able to come to a decision as to whether a particular approach is reasonably practicable.

You and your employer are likely to have different ideas about what you consider to be practicable and so it is reasonable to discuss any potential dispute with the complaints service at your place of work.

I feel like my job is putting me at serious risk of injury. What can I do to prevent this?

If you are in this circumstance at any time when working you have the right by law to stop working and leave the area putting you at risk of serious danger.

You should inform your employer of any health and safety concerns you have as the law requires that you work in conditions that does not put your health at risk and is appropriately controlled.

I am not being provided with the correct footwear at work. What should I do?

Your employer must provide you with free training for your job and additional protective clothing such as gloves, eye and ear protection as well as foot and head gear.

What breaks do the working time regulations entitled me to?

These regulations are specifically designed with workers regulated under the Health and Safety Act in mind. A worker is entitled to an uninterrupted break of 20 minutes for every six hours of work completed.

Is there a maximum weight a person can lift during working times?

The relevant piece of legislation governing this matter is the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992.

The manual instead outlines a number of control measures used to decide whether heavy lifting should be carried out. This includes using your own judgment and by putting the onus on employers to avoid manual handling tasks as often as possible by redesigning certain processes.