What are the main health and safety laws?

Your legal rights to health and safety at work are found in a range of legislation and legal rights:

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This sets out your employer's statutory duties.
  • Regulations, guidance and Approved Codes of Practice (ACOPs) made under this Act. These cover work processes, such as using a computer or manual handling, and also cover specific hazards, such as working with chemicals. Employers have to comply with regulations, and are expected to apply other advice and guidance.
  • Employment rights legislation. These are your employment protection rights.
  • Your common-law rights. These are basic legal obligations on your employer.
  • Your employment contract, staff handbook and company procedures.
Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.