This regulation makes explicit what employers are required to do to comply and covers the requirements to maintain the safe use of equipment and systems.


Aire Serv maintains a watching brief over legislative changes as they apply to employers' obligations, in order that, the work they carry out is fully compliant with the most current regulations.

Employers have to take reasonable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work. Failure to do so could result in a criminal prosecution in the Magistrates Court or a Crown Court. Failure to ensure safe working practises could also lead to an employee suing for personal injury or in some cases the employer being prosecuted for corporate manslaughter.

As well as this legal responsibility, the employer also has an implied responsibility to take reasonable steps as far as they are able to ensure the health and safety of their employees is not put at risk. So an employer might be found liable for his actions or failure to act even if these are not written in law.

An employer should assess the level of risk as against the cost of eliminating that risk in deciding whether they have taken reasonable steps as far as they are able. The employer's responsibility to the employee might include a duty to provide safe plant and machinery and safe premises, a safe system of work and competent trained and supervised staff. Certain groups of employees may require more care and supervision than others, for example disabled workers, pregnant workers, illiterate workers etc.

The employer must consult either directly with their employees or through an elected representative on health and safety matters. If there is a recognised union with an appointed safety representative they must consult with them and allow them time off for training in health and safety issues.