Safe Workplaces

It is the law that every worker is entitled to a safe place of work, even if the person is a mobile worker and each day is travelling to different customers’ premises, making deliveries or carrying out work at the customers’ premises.

A well-known safety problem in workplaces is the movement of vehicles, such as fork lift trucks or delivery wagons, creating the risk of a collision with a worker or another vehicle.

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 places a legal obligation on every business to have safety procedures so that both employees and also persons not employed by the business will be safe whilst visiting the business premises.

Safety regulations made to further the aims of the 1974 Act have provided detailed guidelines to businesses on measures to be taken to achieve safe workplaces.

Some people may comment that the workplace safety laws add little to what should be a “common sense” approach to safety in the workplace. However, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Government’s regulator of health and safety at work, continues to report that it is prosecuting in the courts businesses that have failed to provide safe workplaces, resulting in people suffering accidents.

For instance, the HSE has recently reported that it prosecuted in Northallerton Magistrates’ Court a large, international company that manufactures animal feeds, following an accident suffered by two workmen who were not employees of the business and were  visiting its premises to do work installing machinery. Unfortunately, due to failings in workplace safety, a reversing wagon knocked down the two men, causing serious injuries to one of the men who was also crushed by the wagon. The business admitted breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act, and the magistrates’ court ordered it to pay a fine and costs.

The Health and Safety, at Work etc Act 1974

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992

The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015