The Health and Safety at Work Act was created in 1974 and it is the most important piece of legislation relating to Health and Safety in the UK. It is a comprehensive document that is continually updated that covers the requirements of employers to keep their employees and the public safe, the requirement for employees to look after their own and others safety and also some self-employed roles.
It is important that any employer follows all the legislations that apply to their industry to help keep their employees safe and also to ensure they are treated fairly. A poorly treated employee could look to file a Constructive Dismissal Claim if they feel they have no alternative but to leave their job and no employer wants to end up in court by treating an employee unfairly or worse, unsafely.
The act is enforced by the Health and Safety Executive which is a governmental body and it has the right to inspect and investigate employers and fine them and issue warnings if they feel that the organisation is not following the guidelines laid out for their industry sector.
Any business that have more than 5 employees must have a formal Health and Safety Policy and must keep a record of this along with any risk assessments that they complete. They also need to ensure that they are regularly sharing these with their employees.