Our management of health an safety at work regulations
This is the law in the UK implement the framework directive. Some employers needed to do, such as carrying out certain detailed procedures, assessing risks implementing certain safety measures and communicating with staff on health and safety. These regulations do not stand alone all other modern health and safety legislation such as the workplace (health, safety and welfare). The provision and use of work equipment regulations 1998 must be read in conjunction with the general duties under the MHSWR. This is therefore a very important piece of legislation which have the following key features.
It states that employers shall:
- Carry out assessment of health and safety to both employees an the public (this may be done in writing or on computer)
- Monitor and review protective and preventive and preventive measures
- Appoint a competent person or persons to be responsible for protective and preventive measures
- Establish emergency procedures
- Give comprehensible and relevant information and training to employees (the training can be provided by a suitable training provider other than the employer)
- Cooperate with any other employers who may share the same work site.
Also, employees shall:
- Use equipment in the way in which they have been trained to use it
- Report any dangerous situations or any problems áreas that they spot in the arrangements that the employer has made for health and safety
- These regulations are intended for use in cases of criminal action against an employer and may not be used in any civil cases as evidence of negligence.
The new regulations also mean that employers have a legal duty to predict what could go wrong before it actually happens and to take preventive action to avoid it happening. They must record the preventive action that they have taken this is referred to as risk assessment. The new regulations require employers to be proactive and actively manage activities aimed at protecting the health and safety of their employees. This is more in line that previous legislative measures with the human resource approach of being proactive and actively managing human resources.
The framework directive
The European Union Framework Directive has broad objectives which were implemented in EU member state by 31 december 1992. This established in general terms the European Commission approach to health and safety. The main objectives of the directive were to introduce measures to encourage improvements in safety and health of workers at work. In order to do this it contains general principles concerning the prevention of occupational risks the protection of health and safety, the elimination of risk and accident factors, as well as information, consultation and providing balanced participation in accordance with national laws. The british response to the EU directive was made in the management of health and safety at work regulations 1992 which were accompanied by an approved code of practice which came into effect on 1 january 1993. Five further sets of regulations were also implemented in britain on 1 january 1993 and all these hace become known as “six-pack”. The “six-pack” comprised:
- Management of health and safety at work regulations 1992
- Workplace (health, safety and welfare) regulations 1992
- Provision and use of work equipment regulations 1992
- Personal protective equipment at work regulations 1992
- Health ans safety (display screen equipment) regulations 1992
- Manual handling operations regulations 1992
Legislation becomes out of date and does not always meet the requirements of modern organisations, so amendments are often necessary. All of the original “six-park” regulations have been amended and updated necessary. All of the original “six-pack” regulations have been amended and updated so the new dates and any significant changes will be included with the regulations as they are discussed. The provision and use of work equipment was amended in 1998 in the management of health and safety at work regulations in 1999. The remaining four regulations were also amended later under the health and safety ( Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2002.
The responsibilities of employers under the health and safety at work act.
Employers have a basic duty of care to their employees to ensure their health, safety and welfare. As well as this rather general duty they have five other duties. These are:
- To ensure that the workplace itself is safe; that equipment has been maintained correctly and work is safety organised
- That accidents do not occur because incorrect handling storage or transportation within the workplace.
- That there is training supervisión and information relating to health and safety
- That the workplace itself is maintained adequate and that there are safe ways to get into and out of the buildings
- That provisions for wellbeing are adequate
The responsibilities of employees under the health ans safety at work act.
As you might expect, these are fewer responsibilities for the employees that for the employers. They have three main áreas of responsibility in relation to health and safety. These are:
- To take responsibility for their own health and safety and any health ans safety problems which might be caused to colleagues by their actions or in some cases their failure to act.
- No to recklessly interfere with or mis use any machinery, equipment or processes
- To cooperate with employers about health and safety initiatives.
Although they may not seen very onerous responsibility they are important since employees who do not follow these guidelines could be disciplined or even face prosecution themselves if an accident occurred for which they were responsible. They should cooperate about health ans safety issues, such as wearing protective clothing, if the employer provides it. Since they must take responsability for their own health and safety and that of others, they must also not do anything. This phrase means that circumstances, risks and cost need to be considered when an employer is endeavouring to make the workplace safe for employees. It would be very difficult to make anywhere completely safe and eliminate all accidents. Accidents are by definition something that you cannot predict nevertheless, many situations do ocurr where it is possible to predict that someone could ve injured if improvements are not made, and employers should try to anticípate the likelihood of these types of accident and take steps to prevent them from occurring.
“reasonably practicable” means that a calculation must be made in which the risk is compared with the sacrifices , cost and level of effort needed to avert that risk. If there is a very Slim chance that a comparatively minor accident might ocurr, but thos chance could be eliminated by spending thousands of pounds on new equipment and also by disrupting the workforce, it is might not be considered to be reasonably practicable to do so. If, however , the risk was of a serious injury death , then it would be reasonable to take every step and spend any amount of money to eliminate this risk. The term “as far as is reasonably prcticable” therefore means that the employer should do as much as they can to try to eliminate risks but that they need to review the balance between the risk and the amount of effort required to eliminate that risk.