What is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974?

Health and safety at work act 

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in Great Britain.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), along with local authorities and other enforcing authorities, are responsible for enforcing the Act.

The Act aims to ensure that organisations understand their roles in ensuring and implementing health and safety in the workplace effectively.

 Employers duties

What are employer’s duties under the Act?

The main general duty of employers to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees (including other people visiting the workplace premises such as clients, visitors and the general public).

This includes providing:

  • Safe systems and equipment.
  • A safe working environment with adequate welfare facilities.
  • Any necessary information, instruction, training and supervision.
  • Safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport or articles and substances.

 Employees duties

What are employee’s duties under the Act?

Employee’s duties under the Act include:

  • Taking reasonable care for their own health and safety and of anyone who may be affected by his / her acts or omissions.
  • Co-operating with their employer or other persons to enable legal obligations to be met.
  • Not misuse anything provided in the interests of health and safety at work.

To view the complete range of duties take a look at the full Act here


Failure to comply with the Act can have serious consequences including fines, imprisonment and, in some cases, serious injuries or even deaths. If you require any assistance regarding your legal health and safety duties do not hesitate to contact us on 01394 389683 or info@safetyboss.co.uk.