Self-employed health and safety

Self-employed health and safety

Self-employed health and safety is changing as of October 1st 2015. Many self-employed workers will be exempt from health and safety law.

The previous Health and Safety at Work Act imposed a general duty on all self-employed people to protect themselves and others from risk to their health and safety, regardless of the type of activity they undertook.

However, as of October 1st anyone who is self-employed, or whose work activity poses no potential risk to the health and safety of either members of the public or other workers, is exempt from health and safety law. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have estimated that this will exempt approximately 1.7 million self-employed people from health and safety law such as journalists, accountants and financial advisors.

Self-employed workers will also be exempt from reporting under RIDDDOR.

For health and safety law purposes ‘self-employed’ means that you do not work under a contract of employment, and only work for yourself. If you are self-employed but employ others, the health and safety law will still apply to you.

The HSE have a section for self-employed workers with guidance on factors to take into account when making a judgement on whether the law applies to you or not, which you can access on their website.