LRD Booklets August 2013

Health and safety law 2013

Introduction

Introduction (1,511 words)

This latest edition of the Labour Research Department’s (LRD’s) annual guide to health and safety law, Health and Safety Law 2013, sets out the ...
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Chapter 1

1. THE STRUCTURE OF HEALTH AND SAFETY LAW (142 words)

} the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is proposing to amend health and safety law in order to exempt some self-employed ...
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The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (1,691 words)

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA) is the core piece of legislation that reps need to be familiar with in order to be able to carry ...
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Regulations, Approved Codes of Practice and Guidance (392 words)

The HSWA is an “enabling Act”. This means it creates broad rights and duties under which more detailed health and safety regulations, including ...
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ACOPs and the Löftstedt Review (342 words)

The Löftstedt Review recommended that the HSE should review all its approved codes of practice (ACOPs), with an initial phase of the review being ...
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New regulations (54 words)

New health and safety regulations generally come into force on one of two “commencement dates” each year, 6 April and 1 October. New regulations ...
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Directors’ duties (651 words)

Individual directors do not have explicit legal duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA). Instead, duties are generally imposed on ...
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Common law (492 words)

Common law is law developed through legal cases rather than by Acts of Parliament. Breaches of statutory duties, that is to say, duties contained in ...
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Statutory obligation to display health and safety poster (104 words)

Employers must display a health and safety poster prominently in the workplace. The form it must take is prescribed by the Health and Safety ...
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Changes to funding regime will make it harder for victims to fund personal injury claims (312 words)

In April 2012, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPOA) became law, although a number of its provisions came into effect ...
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Chapter 2

2. THE HEALTH AND SAFETY INSPECTION AND ENFORCEMENT REGIME (296 words)

} in April 2013, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) began consulting on government plans to change the law to amend the ...
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Enforcement agencies and regulators (616 words)

The HSE and local authority environmental health departments are responsible for enforcing most health and safety legislation in workplaces. The ...
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Löfstedt proposals on future enforcement strategy (339 words)

The Löfstedt Review of health and safety regulation recommended a change to enforcement legislation to give the HSE overall authority to direct all ...
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Workplace inspections (148 words)

The threat of an unannounced visit from an external regulator is one of the main ways of encouraging employers to meet the basic requirements of ...
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HSE inspection blitzes (147 words)

When the HSE embarks on an inspection blitz it invariably uncovers worryingly high levels of non-compliance. For example, in its annual inspection ...
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Enforcement strategy (328 words)

In March 2011, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) published a strategy paper, Good health and safety: Good for everyone, aimed at reducing ...
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Targeted enforcement (118 words)

Future enforcement resources are to be targeted at the workplaces identified in the report as being the most “hazardous”. However, unions and ...
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New joint guidance for reduced inspections (113 words)

Following the DWP report, in May 2011, the HSE and the Local Government Group published its Joint guidance for reduced proactive inspections, ...
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HSE revised guidance to risk rating (99 words)

To clarify this “targeted approach” to enforcement, in November 2011 the HSE revised its guidance on the four category “risk rating” system ...
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A new National Enforcement Code (76 words)

A legally binding, statutory National Enforcement Code explicitly outlaws proactive inspections outside “high risk areas” by both the HSE and ...
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Proposals for regulators’ “growth duty” and revised Regulators’ Code (85 words)

In March 2013, business minister Michael Fallon proposed a “growth duty” for regulators, including the HSE, requiring them to take account of ...
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Paying for enforcement — fee for intervention (583 words)

The HSE’s “fee for intervention” (FFI) cost recovery scheme came into effect on 1 October 2012 as a result of the Health and Safety (Fees) ...
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Penalties — notices and fines (432 words)

The Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) provides for three main systems of enforcement. These ...
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HSE Enforcement Policy Statement (118 words)

The HSE Enforcement Policy Statement applies to all Britain’s enforcing authorities. It sets out to inspectors, employers, workers and the public ...
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Investigating work-related deaths (95 words)

There is an HSE protocol for liaison on work-related deaths between nine organisations including the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Crown ...
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Corporate manslaughter (915 words)

The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 created a new offence of “corporate manslaughter”. The legislation aimed to make it ...
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Crown immunity (104 words)

Crown bodies are organisations that act on behalf of the Queen, for example, prisons, government departments, the police and the Royal Mint. Under ...
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TUC health and safety manifesto (212 words)

The new TUC publication Health and safety, Time for change: A trade union manifesto for reclaiming health and safety at work sets out that ...
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Chapter 3

3. THE MANAGEMENT OF HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK (69 words)

} the HSE has launched new online guidelines on health ...
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The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (55 words)

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (the Management Regulations) are important because they clarify how employers must ...
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Risk assessments (730 words)

A central requirement of the regulations is that employers must carry out a risk assessment. The risk assessment should address what happens in the ...
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Union involvement in risk assessment: hazard mapping (97 words)

Although risk assessment is the responsibility of the employer, unions can involve their members in trying to identify what hazards they face in ...
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HSE guidance on risk assessment (113 words)

The HSE risk management web pages at: www.hse.gov.uk/risk provide examples of what a risk assessment might look like. There are also electronic ...
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The Management Regulations — how to approach workplace risk (128 words)

Regulation 4 of the Management Regulations requires employers to implement protective and preventative occupational safety measures by following ...
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Health and safety arrangements (68 words)

Regulation 5 of the Management Regulations requires employers to monitor and review these measures on an on-going basis, and in response to any ...
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Health surveillance (160 words)

Regulation 6 of the Management Regulations requires employers to monitor the health of employees if the risk assessment shows this to be necessary. ...
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Appointment of safety specialists (68 words)

Regulation 7 of the Management Regulations requires employers to appoint competent staff to assist in ensuring that the protective and preventative ...
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Procedures for serious and imminent danger (248 words)

Regulation 8 of the Management Regulations requires all employers to set up procedures to be followed in the event of “serious and imminent danger ...
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Information and training (268 words)

Employees must be provided with specific “comprehensive and relevant” information about the risks and how to avoid them (Regulation 10). ...
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Safety information in different languages (67 words)

The HSE has published information on workers’ health and safety in 30 languages. In 2008, the TUC published a safety leaflet with the HSE in 19 ...
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Co-operation and co-ordination (43 words)

Regulations 11 and 12 of the Management Regulations deal with employers sharing workplaces or employing contract workers. Employers must co-operate ...
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Temporary workers (100 words)

Employers are required by Regulation 15 of the Management Regulations to provide information to temporary staff about the necessary occupational ...
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New and expectant mothers (244 words)

The Management Regulations contain specific provisions for women of childbearing age in the workforce. Regulation 16 says any risk assessment must ...
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Is an employer obliged to carry out a specific separate risk assessment as soon as an employee confirms she is pregnant or breastfeeding? (369 words)

Some workplaces present particular risks to pregnant workers. Whether an employer needs to carry out a separate risk assessment as soon as an ...
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Workplace hazards for pregnant and breastfeeding women (366 words)

The kinds of workplace hazard an employer should pay particular attention to when considering risks to pregnant or breastfeeding women will depend ...
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Pregnancy risk assessment (268 words)

...
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Extension of the right to a maternity suspension to agency workers (120 words)

The duties owed to pregnant workers under the Management Regulations cover pregnant agency workers as well as permanent employees. The Agency ...
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Pregnancy and night work (92 words)

Regulation 17 of the Management Regulations says that new or expectant mothers may be suspended from night work where they have a signed certificate ...
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Young workers (238 words)

Regulation 19 of the Management Regulations says that employers must protect young workers (those aged under 18) from risks to their health and ...
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Withdrawal of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations Approved Code of Practice (437 words)

As a result of the Löftsted review and the subsequent HSE review of its approved codes of practice (ACOPs), the Management Regulations ACOP (L21) ...
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Chapter 4

4. SAFETY REPS, SAFETY COMMITTEES AND TAKING ACTION ON HEALTH AND SAFETY (140 words)

} the government has continued to attack trade union facility time in the public sector, particularly the civil ...
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The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 (118 words)

The Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 (SRSCR, SI 1977 No.500) give recognised trade unions the legal right to appoint ...
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Appointing safety reps (298 words)

The appointment of safety reps from recognised trade unions is provided for by section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. Under ...
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The Brown Book (115 words)

All reps should make sure they have a copy of the HSE publication: Consulting workers on health and safety (L146), known by its unofficial title, ...
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Safety reps’ functions (111 words)

Safety representatives’ functions are set out in Regulation 4. These are ...
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Consultation (259 words)

Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires employers to consult with safety representatives (see Chapter 1). This requirement ...
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Facilities for safety reps (175 words)

Employers must provide the “facilities and assistance” that safety reps reasonably need in order to carry out their functions. The TUC says that ...
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Government attacks on facility time (247 words)

Facility time is a political issue under the current government, with attacks on it forming part of a more general assault on unions, particularly ...
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Safety reps’ legal rights to paid time off (249 words)

Regulation 4(2) of the SRSCR says that all safety reps have the right to be paid for the necessary time off work to carry out their safety functions ...
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Case law — time off for safety rep training (705 words)

The case of Davies v Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council [1999] IRLR 769, established that part-time workers should be paid on the same basis ...
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Safety committees (125 words)

An employer who receives a written request from at least two safety reps must establish a safety committee within three months of the request. ...
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Enforcement of the Safety Reps and Safety Committees Regulations (118 words)

An inspector (from the HSE or the local authority) can intervene in disputes concerning safety reps where an employer has ...
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Employee consultation where there is no union recognition (129 words)

Under the Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996 (HSCER), employers must consult employees who are not covered by trade ...
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Scope of obligation (93 words)

Consultation with employees must be carried out on matters concerning health and safety at work, ...
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Campaign for roving safety reps (393 words)

Unions continue to press the case for “roving representatives” to cover small workplaces or workplaces in industries with poor safety rep ...
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Extending the scope for safety reps to act as a conduit for all staff regardless of union membership (169 words)

The Code of Practice on the SRSCRs (paragraph 23) says: “Normally recognised trade unions will appoint reps to represent a group(s) of workers for ...
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The need for stronger regulations (155 words)

The TUC health and safety manifesto says that all employers should be required to have safety representatives if they employ more than 10 workers. ...
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Legal protection for safety reps and other workers who take action (186 words)

The functions set out in the SRSCR are not legal duties. This means that safety reps cannot be held legally liable if they fail to carry them out. ...
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Introduction of tribunal fees (239 words)

The government introduced fees to access the employment tribunal at the end of July 2013. All fees are to be paid by workers not employers. ...
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Where dismissal is automatically unfair (1,147 words)

Dismissals are automatically considered to be unfair and employees are not required to have two years’ service before making a claim. These ...
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Reinstatement (173 words)

The law does not allow tribunals to compel employers to reinstate workers who have been dismissed for taking a stand on health and safety, and ...
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Compensation (97 words)

The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal is currently capped at £74,200 (from 1 February 2013) and the government has introduced a ...
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Whistleblowing — the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (246 words)

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA 98) gives workers legal protection if they raise issues of serious concern about their workplace, ...
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Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 and whistleblowing (246 words)

The whistleblowing charity Public Concern at Work has published a briefing setting out how the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 will amend ...
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Interim relief (241 words)

An interim relief order can be made in certain limited kinds of unfair dismissal claim relating to the carrying out of trade union or other ...
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Anti-blacklisting regulations (326 words)

The anti-blacklisting laws, the Employment Relations Act 1999 (Blacklists) Regulations 2010 (the Blacklist Regulations), became law in March 2010. ...
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Employment tribunal claims based on the Blacklist Regulations (211 words)

Under Regulation 7 of the Blacklist Regulations, workers have three months from the date of the act complained of in which to bring a claim for ...
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Weaknesses in the Blacklist Regulations (144 words)

In a 2009 report for UCATT, Ruined lives — blacklisting in the UK construction industry, labour law expert Professor Keith Ewing set out a number ...
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European developments in the anti-blacklisting campaign (97 words)

At European level, in December 2011, two Labour MEPs secured an amendment to the European Parliament resolution on the mid-term review of the ...
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Recent developments in the campaign for justice for blacklisted workers (594 words)

The Blacklist Support Group and trade unions have continued to campaign for justice for blacklisted workers and action to prevent further ...
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Chapter 5

5. THE WORKPLACE AND THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT (130 words)

} the HSE has published a revised draft ACOP on the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations) ...
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Regulation of minimum standards for the workplace (331 words)

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 (Workplace Regulations) lay down minimum standards for workplaces, the working ...
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Stability and solidity (72 words)

HSE guidance in the draft ACOP says that any building being used as a workplace should be capable of supporting all foreseeable loads imposed on it. ...
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Maintenance (53 words)

The workplace, equipment, devices and systems must be maintained in an efficient state and working order and kept in good repair. This includes, for ...
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Ventilation (164 words)

Regulation 6 states that, in enclosed workplaces, employers must provide effective and suitable ventilation to supply a sufficient quantity of fresh ...
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Temperature (265 words)

Employers must ensure the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings is “reasonable” during working hours. This means providing reasonable ...
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Company fined for cold working conditions (114 words)

In 2011, a £2,000 fine was imposed on Carlisle-based fashion retailer The Internacionale, which was prosecuted after local authority inspectors ...
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Campaign for legally enforceable maximum temperature (256 words)

The HSE says that it has previously considered the need to introduce a maximum workplace temperature but, following extensive consultation and a ...
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The menopause (213 words)

In March 2011, the TUC published guidance highlighting the needs of menopausal women at work, including a new guide Supporting women through the ...
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Lighting (108 words)

Regulation 8 states that employers must ensure every workplace has suitable and sufficient lighting. It should be natural light, so far as is ...
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Cleanliness (31 words)

Workplaces, furniture, furnishings and fittings must be kept sufficiently clean. Floors, walls and ceilings must have easily cleanable surfaces, and ...
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Space (143 words)

Every workroom should have sufficient floor area, height and unoccupied space (Regulation 10). The draft ACOP says that, as a minimum, 11 cubic ...
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Workstations and seating (88 words)

Regulation 11 says that every workstation must be suitable for the worker using it and the work carried out. Outdoor workstations should provide ...
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Condition of floors (68 words)

Floors must be suitably constructed without uneven or slippery surfaces; be free from obstructions and other slip, trip or fall hazards; and have ...
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Falls or falling objects (56 words)

Precautions must be taken to prevent people being injured through falling or being struck by falling objects, by means other than by providing ...
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Transparent surfaces and windows (62 words)

Windows and other transparent surfaces should be made of safety material and marked to make them apparent where this is necessary for health and ...
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Doors and gates (23 words)

Safety features should be incorporated into particular types of doors and gates, such as sliding or powered doors (Regulation 18). ...
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Organisation of traffic routes (59 words)

Pedestrians and vehicles should be able to circulate safely (Regulation 17). Employers must make traffic routes “suitable” for the people and ...
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Escalators and moving walkways (26 words)

These should function safely and be equipped with the necessary safety devices and easily identifiable and accessible emergency stop controls ...
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Sanitary, washing and drinking facilities (188 words)

Regulation 20 states that suitable and sufficient toilets must be provided, adequately ventilated and lit, kept clean and maintained in an orderly ...
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Minimum requirements for toilets and washstations (86 words)

The draft ACOP lists the minimum facilities that should be ...
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TUC campaign — Give us a (Loo) Break (174 words)

In March 2010, the TUC launched a campaign for a change in the law to prevent employers being able to penalise staff for using the toilet in work ...
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Clothing and changing (238 words)

Employers must provide suitable and adequate facilities for storing clothing not worn during working hours, and for clothing worn at work but not ...
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Rest and eating facilities (163 words)

Regulation 25 states that readily accessible, suitable and sufficient rest facilities must be provided. Where food eaten in the workplace is liable ...
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Disabled workers (43 words)

Regulation 25A sets out that: “Where necessary, those parts of the workplace (including in particular doors, passageways, stairs, showers, ...
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LRD canteen survey (43 words)

A survey of union reps by LRD in December 2010 found a significant fall in the proportion of workers with access to a workplace canteen compared ...
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Pregnancy and breastfeeding (213 words)

The HSE’s Guidance for new and expectant mothers, reminds employers that they are legally required to provide a place for pregnant and ...
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Smoking at work (135 words)

The Health Act 2006 banned smoking in most enclosed workplaces and public places. The Act created the offences of “smoking in a smoke-free ...
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Premises and enforcement (56 words)

Smoking is prohibited in any workplaces or public places which are “enclosed” or “substantially enclosed”. This means premises that have a ...
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Exemptions (266 words)

There are some exemptions to the smoke-free law, these include private accommodation; accommodation for guests and club members such as hotels, ...
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Vehicles (73 words)

The regulations also cover work vehicles. Vehicles that are only ever used by one person with no passengers are exempt from the ban. An employee’s ...
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Signs (52 words)

Employers must display at least one no-smoking sign in a prominent position on the premises (such as the entrance) and in appropriate vehicles. The ...
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Evaluating the health effects of the ban (85 words)

In 2008, the Department of Health published an evaluation of the smoke-free regulations. It found that after the introduction of the smoking ...
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Call for prisons to be Smokefree workplaces (147 words)

In November 2011, the Prison Officers Association (POA) called for all prisons to be made smoke-free workplaces, in line with all other workplaces ...
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Smoking shelters — additional guidance (129 words)

The government’s Smokefree England website advises that employers are not obliged to provide smoking shelters: “It is common for health-focused ...
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Driving at work (439 words)

The HSE guidance, Driving at work: managing work-related road safety, is aimed at employers whose staff drive or ride a motorcycle or bike at work. ...
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Mobile phones (404 words)

It is illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving, or to “cause or permit” that use. Both employer and user can be held liable. ...
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Driving vision (244 words)

Driving with uncorrected vision is an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988. Changes to the law were brought in under the Motor Vehicles (Driving ...
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Changes to the epilepsy and vision medical standards (130 words)

Experts recommend that all drivers of any class should have an eye test at least every two years, and whenever there is cause for concern. However, ...
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Driving with diabetes (97 words)

Changes to the law on driving with insulin-treated diabetes were implemented in November 2011, through the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) ...
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Legislation covering particular industries (82 words)

In addition to the Workplace Regulations, there are a number of regulations that apply to certain types of high-risk workplaces and industries such ...
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Notification of Conventional Tower Cranes Regulations 2010 (257 words)

One such set of regulations that it is important to highlight is the Notification of Conventional Tower Cranes Regulations 2010. These regulations ...
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Chapter 6

6. HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES (304 words)

} the HSE has launched new online guidelines on health ...
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Control of substances hazardous to health (1,017 words)

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH 2002) cover the control of risks from harmful chemicals and other dangerous ...
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Workplace Exposure Limits (482 words)

In 2005, a simpler occupational exposure limit system came into force. The old system of Maximum Exposure Limits (MELs) and Occupational Exposure ...
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Revision of COSHH ACOP (195 words)

As a result of the review the HSE has announced that the ACOP (L5) will be retained and revised in combination with improvements to other HSE COSHH ...
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Asthma Code of Practice and guidance (189 words)

Successful campaigning by unions resulted in the HSE publishing an Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) on the control of occupational asthma. It is ...
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Evidence of occupational asthma (96 words)

A 2012 report by the Royal College of Physicians says that around one in six cases of asthma in people of working age is either caused or made worse ...
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Dust (276 words)

Workplace dust causes many serious health problems, including cancers of the lungs, throat and nose and other lung conditions called Chronic ...
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Legionnaires’ disease (746 words)

Legionnaires’ disease is an airborne disease caught by inhaling small droplets of contaminated water. It is not contagious and is not known to ...
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Needlestick or sharps injuries (158 words)

The Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2012 came into force on 11 May 2013, implementing the requirements of a European ...
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Dermatitis and other skin conditions (473 words)

Dermatitis is a skin disease sometimes called eczema. Inflammation of the skin is the most common sign. It can cause itching, cracking, blistering ...
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Latex allergy (60 words)

There are many cases of workers suffering an allergic reaction to latex-lined gloves. Employers must ensure their workers are protected from ...
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Chemicals information and packaging (163 words)

The Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2009 (CHIP4, 2009) require chemical substances and preparations used at work ...
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Replacement of the CHIP Regulations with the CLP Regulation (309 words)

The CHIP 4 Regulations are gradually being replaced by the European Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures ...
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European chemicals strategy (REACH) (625 words)

The Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals Regulations (REACH) started coming into force in 2007. REACH is being phased in over 11 ...
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Safety Data Sheets (118 words)

The law on safety data sheets has been moved from CHIP 4 to REACH. An HSE leaflet, REACH and Safety Data Sheets, explains when a safety data sheet ...
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Major accident hazards (424 words)

The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999 (COMAH) apply to sites where particular quantities of toxic, highly flammable or otherwise ...
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Plans for a new Directive (179 words)

The COMAH Regulations are based on a European Directive known as the Seveso Directive (96/82/EC). ...
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Buncefield explosion report (182 words)

A report published in February 2011 into the huge explosion at the Buncefield Oil Storage Depot concluded that fundamental safety management ...
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The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (519 words)

The purpose of the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) is to protect workers from risk of fire and explosion ...
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Asbestos (256 words)

The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (the 2012 Regulations) became law on 6 April 2012, replacing the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006. The ...
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The regulatory regime for controlling risks from asbestos (209 words)

Anyone responsible for the maintenance of non-domestic premises has a duty to manage the asbestos in them, to protect anyone using or working in the ...
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The duty to manage asbestos (524 words)

Employers, owners of commercial premises and managing agents have a legal “duty to manage” asbestos in the premises they own or control ...
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Fighting for compensation and better treatment for asbestos-related diseases (163 words)

The Compensation Act 2006 was enacted as a result of union campaigning. It states that where workers have been exposed to asbestos by more than one ...
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New support scheme for mesothelioma victims (221 words)

A new support scheme for newly diagnosed victims of mesothelioma was announced by the government at the end of July 2012 and the first payments are ...
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Mesothelioma litigation (284 words)

In April 2012, the Supreme Court delivered its judgment in long-running asbestos litigation brought by four insurance companies that had been ...
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Liability for “low level” exposure confirmed by Supreme Court (117 words)

In March 2011, the Supreme Court upheld awards of compensation to the families of Dianne Willmore and Enid Costello, who died from mesothelioma ...
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Parent company liable for asbestos claim (299 words)

In April 2012, an important ruling by the Court of Appeal decided for the first time, that a parent company owed a direct duty of care to a victim ...
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Case paves the way for higher compensation for elderly victims (147 words)

In February 2012, the High Court gave an important ruling on compensation for pain and suffering that could result in higher levels of compensation ...
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Pleural plaques (315 words)

Unions have continued to campaign for legislation to redress a House of Lords judgment on pleural plaques. Pleural plaques are areas of thick scar ...
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Asbestos in schools (195 words)

Education unions have continued to campaign for action on asbestos in schools. According to HSE figures, 128 school teachers died from the ...
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Europe calls for removal of asbestos from public buildings (172 words)

In March 2013, the European Parliament backed a resolution calling for the removal of asbestos from all public buildings and buildings requiring ...
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Lead (860 words)

The Control of Lead at Work Regulations 2002 (CLAW) apply to any kind of work activity where there is a risk of exposing workers and anyone else to ...
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Transport of dangerous goods (96 words)

The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations 2009 (CDG 2009) came into effect in July 2009. The ...
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Pesticides and biocides (313 words)

The use, supply, storage and advertisement of pesticides is regulated by a number of different regulations including the Control of Pesticides ...
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Genetically Modified Organisms (209 words)

The Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2000 cover research and development, industrial production of some pharmaceuticals ...
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Chapter 7

7. EQUIPMENT AT WORK (146 words)

} it now appears that the European Commission is actively considering producing a Council Recommendation on MSDs rather than a new Directive. A ...
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Display screen equipment (735 words)

The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 (DSE Regulations) lay down minimum health and safety requirements for work with ...
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Breaks for DSE users (262 words)

Regulation 4 of the DSE Regulations says the work of DSE users must be planned so that there are periodic breaks or changes of activity to reduce ...
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Rest breaks and monotonous work (89 words)

Additional protection is provided by Regulation 8 of the Working Time Regulations (see Chapter 9: Hours of work). This says that where the pattern ...
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A new European MSDs proposal (185 words)

There is no specific UK legislation to deal with the problem of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs or RSI); although general health and safety ...
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Machinery and other equipment (845 words)

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA), includes a duty to provide and maintain safe plant and safe systems of work and a duty to inform, ...
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Work equipment and the Löfstedt review (315 words)

Following the HSE review of ACOPs, prompted by the Löfstedt review of health and safety regulations (see Chapter 12), Safe use of work equipment (L22 ...
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Notification of Conventional Tower Cranes Regulations scrapped (171 words)

As a result of the Löfstedt review of health and safety legislation, the Notification of Conventional Tower Cranes Regulations (SI 2010/333) have ...
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Work at height (269 words)

The Work at Height Regulations 2005 apply to all work at height where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury. ...
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Work at Height Regulations and the Löfstedt review (317 words)

Unions expressed concern that even though falls from height are the most common cause of workplace fatalities, the Löfstedt review singled out the ...
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The Ladder Exchange (83 words)

In 2011, the HSE’s last annual Ladder Exchange resulted in 1,270 unsafe ladders being handed in. This was the last Ladder Exchange programme run ...
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Personal protective equipment (744 words)

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 (PPE Regulations) require employers ...
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Agency workers and PPE (65 words)

Agency workers have the same rights to be provided with properly fitting PPE as directly employed workers, at the cost of the employer. In March ...
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The Construction (Head Protection) Regulations and the Löfstedt review (388 words)

The Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989 (CHP) imposed a duty on employers to ensure that so far as reasonably practicable, every worker ...
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Unions highlight PPE problems (320 words)

Construction union UCATT has warned its members to ensure that their personal protective equipment (PPE) is genuine, following concerns that fake ...
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Ill-fitting PPE (189 words)

Public services union UNISON member Anthony Roach worked for Stockton Borough Council in its Neighbourhood Services team. He wore body armour to ...
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Womens Engineering Society (WES) Survey — PPE and women workers (78 words)

According to a survey by the Womens’ Engineering Society (WES) many employers do not comply with the law and guidance on PPE when it comes to ...
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TUC survey reveals workers forced to pay for PPE (211 words)

A TUC survey published in July 2012 reveals that more than one in five workers are being forced to pay for PPE out of their own pocket. In total ...
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TUC footwear guidance (46 words)

The TUC guide for safety representatives on feet and footwear, Working feet and footwear, advises that employers must ensure that their risk ...
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Chapter 8

8. PHYSICAL HAZARDS AT WORK (238 words)

} the European Commission is now expected to bring forward a European Recommendation on MSDs rather than a new Directive. This would have no binding ...
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Manual handling (64 words)

Musculoskeletal disorders (also known as MSDs), including back pain and RSI (see Chapter 8), continue to be the largest cause of time off work, ...
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The Manual Handling Operations Regulations (266 words)

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (the MHOR) apply wherever manual handling operations are carried out — that is, physical lifting, ...
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Unite calls on air passengers to pack less (131 words)

In February 2010, passengers at airports including Heathrow, Manchester and East Midlands were asked to “pack less” by transport union Unite ...
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Consultation with safety reps (135 words)

HSE guidance emphasises the importance of consultation with safety reps “because they know at first hand the risks in the workplace and can offer ...
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Prolonged standing at work (112 words)

In 2010, the actions of two trade unionists at the BBC resulted in working conditions at contract catering company Aramark being investigated by the ...
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New European proposal on musculoskeletal disorders (181 words)

There is no specific UK legislation to deal with the problem of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs or RSI); although general health and safety ...
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Railworkers win compensation for RSI (104 words)

In 2009, rail union ASLEF won a ground-breaking judgment on RSI. Three train drivers successfully won more than £22,000 compensation from Arriva ...
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HSE MSD Toolkit (61 words)

The HSE has developed a collection of tools to help identify common risk factors covering manual handling operations including lifting and carrying, ...
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The Manual Handling Assessment Chart (MAC Tool) (198 words)

The MAC Tool helps to identify high-risk manual handling activities in workplaces and is aimed at employers, employees and safety reps. The HSE ...
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The Assessment of Repetitive Tasks (ART) Tool (244 words)

The ART Tool is designed to help assess tasks that require repetitive movement of the arms and hands. It assists in carrying out a risk assessment ...
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The Push/Pull Tool (123 words)

The Push/Pull tool can be used to analyse tasks that involve pushing or pulling items whether they have been loaded onto a trolley or mechanical aid ...
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MSD support needed (522 words)

MSDs are the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK. A recent survey by the Work Foundation suggests that the clinical support available to ...
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Fire (49 words)

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 came into force in 2006. It applies risk assessment principles and establishes a single fire safety ...
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The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (151 words)

The Order divides into Articles, rather than regulations, but the basic hierarchy is similar to other health and safety law. ...
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General fire precautions (168 words)

The Order requires the responsible person to take general fire precautions for the safety of employees and other “relevant persons”, such as ...
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Risk assessment (74 words)

Under Article 9, the responsible person must make a “suitable and sufficient” assessment of the risk of (and from) fire in the workplace. The ...
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Preventive and protection measures (333 words)

Article 10 requires the responsible person to follow a hierarchy of preventive and protection measures, as set out in Schedule 1, Part 3. ...
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Information and training (115 words)

Under Article 19, the responsible person must provide “comprehensible and relevant information” to employees arising from the risk assessment, ...
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Enforcement (174 words)

The enforcing authority is defined in Article 25. In most cases, this is the local fire and rescue authority, although the HSE has responsibility ...
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Noise (174 words)

The Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 came into force for most sectors in 2006 and were extended to the music and entertainment sectors in ...
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Noise levels (213 words)

Under the regulations, the first action level, known as lower “exposure action value” (EAV) ...
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Risk assessment (276 words)

Regulation 5 requires an employer who carries out work which is liable to expose any employees to noise at or above a lower exposure action value ...
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Controlling noise (216 words)

The risk assessment must also identify the measures needed to meet the requirements of the regulations. Where the assessment shows that employees ...
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Hearing protection (234 words)

Regulation 7 governs the use of hearing protection. It says ear protectors should not be a substitute for controlling noise by technical and ...
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Information and training (285 words)

Where employees are exposed to noise which is likely to be at or above a lower exposure action value, Regulation 10 requires the employer to provide ...
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CWU supports members with claims for hearing damage (152 words)

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) is assisting around 3,500 engineer members with claims arising from the use of oscillators/amplifiers in ...
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Voice damage (95 words)

A different but equally serious risk associated with workplace noise is that of voice damage. In 2010, 50-year-old teacher Joyce Walters was awarded ...
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Research highlights risk of voice damage in call centres (77 words)

Research commissioned by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) in 2012 found that one in four call centre workers suffer voice ...
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HSE guidance on noise (49 words)

HSE, Noise at work: Guidance for employers on the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 can be downloaded at: ...
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Vibration (515 words)

The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 came into force in 2005. They are based on the second EU Physical Agents Directive. The ...
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Radiation (417 words)

The Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999 require employers ...
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Electromagnetic fields (95 words)

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are a form of radiation that can affect the central nervous system and the body’s temperature at certain frequencies. ...
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New directive on workers’ exposure to electromagnetic fields (242 words)

A new directive on workers’ exposure to electromagnetic fields was adopted on 29 June 2013 and Member States have until 1 July 2016 to transpose ...
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Optical radiation (382 words)

The Control of Artificial Optical Radiation at Work Regulations 2010 (CAORWR) came into force in April 2010. The CAORWR are intended to implement a ...
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Sunlight (38 words)

The TUC has produced a guide for safety reps on avoiding the risks of skin cancer when working outside: Skin cancer and outdoor workers, available ...
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Electricity (354 words)

Electricity is a major hazard. Not only can it kill directly through electrical shocks, but it can also cause fires and explosions. About 1,000 ...
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Electricity at work and the Löfstedt review (194 words)

In his review of health and safety regulation, Reclaiming health and safety for all, Professor Löfstedt recommended that the requirement for ...
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Gas (282 words)

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 aim to safeguard the public from the dangers arising from the use of gas, although they also ...
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Gas safety and the Löfstedt review (278 words)

Following the recommendation that the HSE review all its approved codes of practice (ACOPs), it has proposed that two ACOPs on gas safety, L56, ...
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Liquid petroleum gas regulation after the 2004 ICL explosion (201 words)

Lord Gill’s report of the public inquiry into the 2004 explosion at ICL Plastics Ltd in Glasgow was published in July 2009 (www.theiclinquiry.org). ...
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Chapter 9

9. HOURS OF WORK (199 words)

} negotiations between the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the employers’ organisation Business Europe on a revision of the European ...
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General background — the Working Time Directive (58 words)

The European Union (EU) directive on working time was designed to protect workers’ health and safety by imposing legal limits on the maximum ...
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Core rights (63 words)

Under the WTR, most UK workers have the right ...
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Working Time under the WTR Regulations (95 words)

Working time is defined ...
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Time spent “on call” (406 words)

Working hours can include time on-call, provided that the employee has to remain on the employer’s premises, even if s/he is not obliged to work. ...
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Unmeasured time (56 words)

The limits on working time in the 1998 Regulations do not apply to work whose duration “is not measured or predetermined or can be determined by ...
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Who the Working time Regulations apply to (158 words)

The regulations apply to workers not just employees. They cover any individual who works under a contract personally to perform work or services for ...
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Mobile workers (200 words)

The situation for mobile workers is slightly more complicated. A mobile worker is defined as: “any worker employed as a member of travelling or ...
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Pilots campaign against increased hours secures backing of Transport Select Committee (504 words)

Pilots’ union BALPA continues to campaign against EU plans to increase pilots’ working hours. BALPA argues that the proposals present a serious ...
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Drivers' working hours (513 words)

Two sets of working time regulations and two sets of parallel regulations control working time on the roads. The Road Transport (Working Time) ...
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Exclusions (627 words)

Some groups, such as the armed forces, are completely excluded from the WTR. There are also “special case” exclusions that apply to workers in a ...
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The maximum working week (95 words)

The maximum working week is set at 48 hours per week when averaged over what is called the “reference period” (Regulation 4). This means that ...
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The UK’s opt-out (133 words)

In the UK, workers may agree to opt out of the 48-hour maximum working week and around 11% of UK employees continue to work more than 48 hours a week. ...
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Work Your Proper Hours Day (146 words)

Work your Proper Hours Day is an annual TUC campaign highlighting the amount of unpaid overtime by Britain’s workers, and emphasising the risk to ...
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The 48-hour week and work-related stress (340 words)

It is not possible for a worker to bring a free-standing claim in the employment tribunal for breach of the 48-hour working week. Nevertheless, the ...
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European-level negotiations on the 48-hour week (347 words)

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) continues to campaign to end the opt-out from the 48-hour limit on weekly working time, and to keep ...
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Young workers (85 words)

The Working Time (Amendment) Regulations 2002 ended the UK opt-out for young workers. Young workers are defined as having “attained the age of 15 ...
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Night work (204 words)

A night worker is defined as someone who works at least three hours of their daily working time during the night time “as a normal course” ...
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Night work and young workers (32 words)

Young workers may not ordinarily work at night between 10pm and 6am (or between 11pm and 7am where the contract of employment allows for work after ...
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Health assessments (174 words)

Employers must ensure that night workers whose work involves special hazards or heavy physical or mental strain do not work more than eight hours in ...
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Research links shift work with breast cancer (224 words)

A report published by the HSE in May 2010 estimated that more than 550 UK breast cancer deaths and almost 2,000 cases of breast cancer are linked to ...
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Daily rest (34 words)

Adult workers are entitled to at least 11 consecutive hours, and young workers (16- and 17-year-olds) to at least 12 consecutive hours, as a rest ...
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Weekly rest (70 words)

Adult workers are entitled to an uninterrupted rest period of at least 24 hours in each seven-day period (Regulation 11). The employer can decide ...
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Rest breaks (183 words)

Workers are entitled to a rest break where they work more than six hours in a day (Regulation 12). This must be an uninterrupted period of at least ...
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Shift workers (67 words)

The regulations on daily and weekly rest periods do not apply to shift workers when they change shifts and cannot take the rest periods between the ...
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Compensatory rest (188 words)

Where workers lose out on their rest periods, for example because they are moving between shifts, their rest break is excluded as a “special ...
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Holidays (191 words)

Workers are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid annual leave (under Regulation 13, as amended). Unions have won a series of Court victories since the ...
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Holiday entitlement (117 words)

The WTR originally allowed for only four weeks of annual leave, but this was increased in stages, and since 1 April 2009, statutory holiday ...
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Bank holidays (55 words)

There is no statutory right to take leave on bank holidays. Any entitlement to bank holidays is purely contractual. Employers are free to include ...
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Timing of holidays (336 words)

Employers can make rules about the timing of ...
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Offshore oil workers (171 words)

In 2006, the Working Time (Amendment) (No2) Regulations 2006 brought offshore working explicitly under the regulations, and meant that offshore ...
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Carrying unused leave forward into a subsequent leave year (129 words)

Except for the special position where a worker is unable to take annual leave due to sickness, under the WTR a worker with unused annual leave has ...
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Pay in lieu of annual leave (52 words)

Because the WTR are intended to promote the health and safety of workers, there is an absolute prohibition on payment in lieu of any part of the ...
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Sick leave and holiday (259 words)

There have been a number of important ECJ decisions interpreting the relationship between sickness absence and statutory holiday entitlement under ...
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Consultation — working time and annual leave (97 words)

The coalition government launched a consultation in May 2011 on changes to the WTR, in particular to bring the WTR into line with European law ...
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Rolled-up holiday pay (323 words)

When the right to paid holidays was introduced, many employers dealt with it by simply telling their workers that their hourly rate included an ...
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Agency workers’ enhanced rights (100 words)

As explained above, agency workers are protected by the WTR, which gives them rights to holidays, rest breaks and protection in relation to night ...
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Collective and workforce agreements (52 words)

Collective or workforce agreements can modify or exclude the WTR on the length of night work and daily rest, weekly rest and rest breaks for adults ...
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Enforcement (125 words)

Enforcement is split between different authorities. The restrictions on the maximum working week, night work and work patterns impose obligations on ...
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The Pay and Work Rights helpline (69 words)

The Pay and Work Rights helpline was launched in September 2009 and provides a unified point of contact for employers and workers on areas including ...
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Protection against detrimental treatment (173 words)

The Employment Rights Act 1996 protects workers against detrimental treatment or victimisation if they refuse to do something contrary to the WTR or ...
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More information (25 words)

LRD booklet Law at Work 2013 www.lrdpublications.org.uk/publications.php?pub=BK&iss=1664 ...
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Chapter 10

10. OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH, INFORMATION AND REPORTING (226 words)

} the HSE board rejected a number of proposals to “simplify and clarify” injury and illness reporting requirements following a consultation ...
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Recording and reporting accidents (144 words)

Some incidents, where they are related to work, must be notified in writing to the relevant enforcing authority, either the Health and Safety ...
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What is reportable under RIDDOR? (816 words)

Employers, the self-employed and anyone in control of work premises must report and record particular categories of work-related accidents and ...
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The accident book (333 words)

Under the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1987, employers of 10 or more people must record all accidents, however minor the ...
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Accident investigation (202 words)

There is no specific statutory duty on employers to investigate reportable work-related accidents, ill-health or “near misses”. HSE guidance ...
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The Employment Practices Data Protection Code (407 words)

In 2004, the Information Commissioner published Part 4 of the Employment Practices Data Protection Code, dealing with information about workers’ ...
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Ban on pre-employment health checks (244 words)

The Equality Act 2010 introduced a ban on pre-employment questions to job applicants about their health, including whether they have a disability, ...
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Information on work-related deaths (137 words)

In April 2009, the HSE announced that it would publish some details of work-related deaths on a monthly basis through the chief executive’s report ...
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HSE statistics on work-related deaths hide the true picture (199 words)

In practice, the HSE statistics on work-related deaths under-represent the true picture of work-related death, and probably represent just the tip ...
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Estimate of deaths by work-related illness (129 words)

Hilda Palmer of the Hazards campaign has compiled the following approximate estimates of the number of individuals killed by work-related illness ...
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Estimate of deaths from work-related injury (94 words)

The Hazards Campaign estimates that nationally during 2011-12, between 1,253 and 1,403 people were killed in work-related incidents, ...
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First aid (899 words)

Employers are obliged by law to provide first aid facilities under the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 (First Aid Regulations). ...
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First aid regulation and the Löfstedt review (259 words)

Following a recommendation in the Löfstedt review of health and safety regulation, in October 2012 the HSE launched a consultation on plans to ...
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Sick pay ruling victory (123 words)

In February 2012, unions at Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust secured an important victory, defeating attempts by the Trust ...
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Occupational health (335 words)

An occupational health scheme is a service which gives access to a range of professional advice and services to staff. ...
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NHS Occupational health services (102 words)

As well as private occupational health providers, employers can access NHS occupational health services. Web-based advice and details of the ...
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Black/Frost Sickness Absence Review — Government response (421 words)

The 2011 Black/Frost report into sickness absence, Health and work: an independent review of sickness absence, was commissioned by the government ...
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Fit notes (612 words)

The “Statement of Fitness for Work” or “Fit Note” was introduced in April 2010. The Fit Note is stored electronically by the GP, but as with ...
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Returning to work following long-term sickness absence (152 words)

The HSE has published guidance for safety and other trade union representatives offering practical advice on long-term sickness absence and return ...
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More information (39 words)

Medical referrals in employment: A short guide for employees and their representatives, is available on the TUC website at: ...
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Chapter 11

11. STRESS, BULLYING AND VIOLENCE (130 words)

} members of the teaching unions NUT and NASUWT and unions at the BBC, NUJ and BECTU, are among those to have taken strike action over bullying ...
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The extent of the problem — recent evidence (296 words)

The mental health charity Mind recently reported that work is the biggest cause of stress in people’s lives, with one in three people (34%) saying ...
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General duties (111 words)

Although there is no specific legislation aimed at controlling stress, bullying and violence at work, employers have legal duties under both ...
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Stress (365 words)

A series of high profile civil cases in recent years have helped focus employer attention on the issue of workplace stress. In practice, ...
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Providing a counselling service (47 words)

In Intel Incorporation (UK) Ltd v Daw IRLR 355), followed by Dickins v O2 plc [2008] EWCA Civ 1144, the Court of Appeal confirmed that providing a ...
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Exceeding the 48-hour week (56 words)

Although exceeding the 48-hour maximum working week under the Working Time Regulations is relevant evidence in a work-related stress claim (Hone v ...
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Management standards (95 words)

Unions campaigned for an Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) on stress. However, this proposal was rejected by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). ...
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How effective are the Management Standards? (35 words)

An HSE study found that the stress management standards have failed to bring about significant improvements in psycho-social working conditions ...
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Mental health at work and collective responses (341 words)

The Management Standards adopt an “organisational” as opposed to an “individual” approach to the tackling of workplace stress and to issues ...
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Mental health at work and discrimination (245 words)

The law prohibiting unlawful discrimination against the disabled is contained in the Equality Act 2010 (EA 2010). This says that a person has a ...
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Bullying and harassment (22 words)

Employers have a duty to provide a safe and healthy working environment. This includes protection from bullying and harassment. ...
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Common law rights to protection against bullying (40 words)

Under the common law, employers may be liable for psychiatric or psychological damage caused by bullying or harassment at work. The discussion above ...
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Protection from harassment under the Equality Act 2010 (54 words)

Workers may have a claim for harassment, where the behaviour is as a result of one of the characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010 (EA ...
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Protection from harassment by third parties (233 words)

The EA 2010 strengthened the position of workers at risk of bullying and violence by introducing a specific statutory duty on employers to prevent ...
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Repeal of Equality Act provisions on third party harassment (94 words)

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 repeals the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 dealing with third party harassment of employees ...
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Practical steps to combat bullying (144 words)

Employees should never suffer bullying in silence. The TUC publishes online guidance about what you can do to help yourself: ...
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Constructive dismissal (275 words)

Workers suffer bullying and harassment for all kinds of reasons, often unrelated to the reasons protected by the Equality Act. The law is ...
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Industrial action (697 words)

Over the past year there have been a number of examples of unions organising industrial action to respond collectively to management bullying when ...
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Personal (psychiatric) injury caused by negligence (41 words)

It is theoretically possible to bring a claim for personal injury in the civil courts where bullying has resulted in reasonably foreseeable ...
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Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (227 words)

Yet another theoretical route through the civil courts is offered by the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (PHA 97). The 2007 case of Majrowski v ...
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More information (39 words)

LRD booklet, Bullying and harassment at work — a guide for trade unionists ...
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Violence (379 words)

The 2010-11 British Crime Survey (BCS) disclosed approximately 341,000 physical assaults by members of the public on workers and 313,000 threats of ...
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Employer criminal liability (736 words)

Employers can also face criminal prosecutions over workplace violence. For example, in February 2010, a charity providing support and housing ...
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Cuts to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) (98 words)

In November 2012, changes to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme (CICS) came into effect in England, Wales and Scotland. The changes reduce or ...
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Dangerous dogs legislation (218 words)

The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010 gave Scottish local authorities the power to serve dog control orders, or “dog ASBOs”, and holds owners ...
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New sentencing guidelines (110 words)

In England and Wales, the Sentencing Council issued new sentencing guidelines for incidents involving dangerous dogs in May 2012. Under the new ...
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Combating violence against retail workers (291 words)

The HSE has published an online toolkit to help cut the risk of work-related violence towards shop workers. The guidance tells employers: ...
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More information (103 words)

The TUC’s web pages on Violence at work, in the health and safety section of its website, have news, information and resources ...
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Chapter 12

12. THE YOUNG AND LÖFSTEDT REVIEWS OF HEALTH AND SAFETY (1,442 words)

The government has used two reviews to justify its attacks on health and safety legislation and the safety inspection and enforcement regime. The ...
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Government response to the Löfstedt review (81 words)

The government responded to the conclusions of the Löfstedt review almost immediately, publishing its formal response in November 2011. It promised ...
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Review of all ACOPs (62 words)

The Löfstedt review recommended that the HSE review all 52 of its ACOPs. Although the HSE already kept all ACOPs and guidance under continuous ...
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Löfstedt one year on (190 words)

Reclaiming health and safety for all: a review of progress one year on was published by the DWP in February 2013. The Institution of Occupational ...
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Further information

Further information (558 words)

All regulations made since 1988 can be downloaded from the website at: ...
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