Every employer has a legal obligation to look after the health and safety of their employees. This includes things such as providing first aid equipment and training, providing fire safety equipment and training, providing suitable protective clothing for the working environment and making sure that all machinery and equipment is safe.
The following areas all have specific rules and guidelines that employers must follow:
- Fire safety. You can find further information at www.communities.gov.uk for England, www.wales.gov.uk for Wales and www.infoscotland.com/firelaw for Scotland.
- Machinery and equipment
- First aid
- Lifting and carrying heavy weights
- Working at heights
- Hazardous substances
- Washing facilities and toilets
- Drinking water
- First aid facilities
- Working hours and rest breaks. Most workers have the right not to have to work for more than 48 hours a week on average and there are other laws concerning shift work and adolescent workers.
- Smoking at work is now banned
For more information, the Health and Safety Executive has a website for businesses at www.hse.gov.uk/business. This website provides information on employers’ responsibilities. You can also contact The Health and Safety Executive information line on: 0845 345 0055.