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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

Bill exposes government’s strike hypocrisy If the government was really concerned about the harm to the economy caused by lost working days, it would be addressing the scourge of work-related ill-health not the by comparison tiny impact of strikes, the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) has said. Following the publication...
24 July 2015
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
Study explodes EU over-legislation myth Government claims that the European Union has fuelled an increase in legislation have been proven to be a myth, the TUC has said. The union body was commenting after an an academic study concluded that far from producing too much legislation, the EU is only...
13 February 2015
More disappointment on deregulation Bodies representing unions and safety professionals have expressed their “disappointment” at the failure of a government committee to rein in dangerous measures in the draft Deregulation Bill. A joint committee of the Houses of Commons and Lords has been looking at the draft Deregulation Bill which...
10 January 2014
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