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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.