Lone Worker Legislation

Acts & Regulations Protecting Lone Workers

Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (also referred to as HSWA, the 1974 Act, the HSW or HASAWA) is the primary piece of UK health and safety legislation. It requires employers to ‘ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work’ of all of their employees.

The main requirements of this Act are:

  • The safe operation and maintenance of the working environment, plant and systems
  • Maintenance of safe access and egress to the workplace
  • Safe use, handling and storage of dangerous substances
  • Adequate training of staff to ensure health and safety
  • Adequate welfare provisions for staff at work
Health And Safety At Work Act 1974
Health And Safety (Offences) Act 2008

Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008

The Health and Safety (Offences) Act 2008, lays out the maximum penalties that can be made against defendants under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (for more information on this Act see above). The Act, which came into force in January 2009, gives lower courts the power to impose fines and/or imprisonment for the following health and safety offences:

  • Breaches of general duties under HASAWA Sections 2 – 8 or Regulations
  • Non-compliance with an Improvement Notice, a Prohibition Notice or a Court Order
  • Making a false statement or entry in a register
  • Breaches of general duties under HASAWA Section 9
  • Obstructing an Inspector
  • Pretending to be an Inspector

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires employers to assess and manage risks to their employees and others as a result of any work activities. Employers have a duty to ensure the health and safety of the workplace including:

  • Making arrangements for emergencies
  • Providing adequate training and information for employees
  • Providing health and safety surveillance where appropriate

Employees are required to work in line with the training and instructions provided to them, and must notify their employer if there are any shortcomings in arrangements, or if there is any immediate danger to their health and safety at work.

Management Of Health And Safety At Work Regulations 1999
Corporate Manslaughter And Corporate Homicide Act 2007

Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007

In April 2008 the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 came into force, and clarifies the criminal liabilities of companies and organisations where failures in health and safety management have resulted in a fatality.

This means that companies and organisations can be found guilty of corporate manslaughter as a result of a gross breach of a duty of care. Prosecutions under this Act will be of corporate bodies, not individuals, however the liability of individuals under health and safety law, or general criminal law, will be unaffected.

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