Legal Duties of Employees

Framework of Health and Safety Law

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 provides general guidelines on the way in which work activities are able to be carried out.

More detailed guidance is provided through the issue of regulations which also carry the full force of the law.

 Employees’ legal duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act

  • You must safeguard your own health and safety and that of others (e.g. other  operatives and members of the public) who may be affected by your actions.
  • You must co-operate with your employer to help them comply with their legal duties.
  • You must not interfere with anything provided for health and safety.

Employees’ legal duties under regulations

Some of the legal duties imposed on employees by regulations are:

General Safety – to follow the training and instructions provided when using machinery, equipment, dangerous substances, transport equipment or safety devices.  Report any defects which you believe could endanger health or safety.

PPE – You must use in accordance with training and instructions given. Report loss or damage and store correctly after use.

COSHH – You must make use of any control measures provided to enable you to avoid contact with hazardous substances.

Noise – You must wear hearing protection devices and take other actions that your employer may decide are necessary to protect your hearing.

Manual handling – You must make use of any system of work provided by your employer to eliminate or reduce the risk of manual handling injuries.

Electricity – You must co-operate with your employer and follow instructions with regard to working safely.


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