What are my employer's duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act?

Your employer's duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act1974 (HASAWA) is to provide you with a safe and healthy workplace, and this includes:

  • a safe system of work;
  • a safe place of work;
  • safe equipment, plant and machinery;
  • safe and competent people working alongside you, because employers are also liable for the actions of their staff and managers;
  • carrying out risk assessments as set out in regulations, and taking steps to eliminate or control these risks;
  • informing workers fully about all potential hazards associated with any work process, chemical substance or activity, including providing instruction, training and supervision;
  • appointing a 'competent person' responsible for health and safety (competent persons, such as a head of health and safety, oversee day-to-day safety management, oversee safety inspections, and liaise with staff safety reps);
  • consulting with workplace safety representatives (if a union is recognised, your employer must set up and attend a workplace safety committee if two or more safety reps request one); and
  • providing adequate facilities for staff welfare at work.
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.