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The basis of UK health and safety law is the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 which sets out the general principles of health and safety compliance. It describes the general duties employers have towards employees and members of the public, and employees have to themselves and to others. The Act has been supplemented by Regulations, Approved Codes of Practice (ACoP) and guidance.

The Health and Safety Executive is responsible for health and safety policy and the enforcement of health and safety law. Also the European Union has been creating health and safety directives that all member states are required to incorporate into their own laws.

Failure by an employer to comply with health and safety law is an offence and may lead to prosecution by the HSE or Local Authorities Workers who exercise their health and safety statutory rights, such as reporting the health and safety crimes of their employer, are legally protected from victimisation.


Workers' rights and employers' duties, HSE free leaflets

Worksmart Health and safety law section

Public Concern at Work - PCAW

A short TUC briefing on the implications of leaving the EU for health and safety in the UK.
23 March 2016
The TUC has warned members of the House of Lords that plans they are voting on today (Wednesday) to scrap health and safety rules for millions of self-employed people will put both workers and the public at risk. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This is virtually a licence to...
04 March 2015
A draft Deregulation Bill published on 1 July will leave workers at greater risk of injury, ill-health and abuse at work, the TUC has warned.
05 July 2013
This briefing outlines the proposals in the Deregulation Bill and to exempt certain self-employed persons from the Health and Safety at Work Act and outlines the TUC's objections.
02 July 2013
This is the response by the TUC to the HSE consultation on a national Enforcement Code for Local Authorities.
28 February 2013
Workers victimised for raising safety concerns will soon have to pay £1,200 if they want to seek justice at an employment tribunal. Unions have branded the move, announced last week by the government, ‘a disgrace'. National union body TUC said the plans to introduce fees for tribunals covering the gamut...
20 July 2012
The government has confirmed a Budget commitment to cull or revise 84 per cent of the UK's health and safety laws, but can't or won't say which laws are in its sights.
30 March 2012
US conservatives have stoked their war against 'big government', bidding to freeze federal actions to protect the public by introducing an anti-regulation regulation.
23 September 2011
The TUC has submitted detailed evidence to the Government's review of health and safety regulation being conducted by Professor Ragnar Lofstedt. It makes the case for a strong evidence-based regulatory regime backed up by effective enforcement.
22 July 2011
Commenting on the government-commissioned review of civil litigation funding and costs published today (Tuesday), TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:
29 March 2011