Unit 504 Develop health and safety and risk management policies procedures and practices in health and social care or children and young people's settings
1. Understand the current legislative framework and organisational health, safety and risk management policies, procedures and practices that are relevant to health, and social care or children and young people’s settings
1.1 Explain the legislative framework for health, safety and risk management in the work setting
The basis of British health and safety law is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The Act sets out the general duties which employers have towards employees and members of the public, and employees have to themselves and to each other. These duties are qualified in the Act by the principle of ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’ In other words, an employer does not have to take measures to avoid or reduce the risk if they are technically impossible or if the time, trouble or cost of the measures would be grossly disproportionate to the risk. What the law requires here is what good management and common sense would lead employers to do anyway that is, to look at what the risks are and take sensible measures to tackle them.
The Health and Safety Executive is responsible for enforcing health and safety at work.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (the Management
Regulations) generally make more explicit what employers are required to do to manage health and safety under the Health and Safety at Work Act. Like the Act, they apply to every work activity. The main requirement on employers is to carry out a risk assessment. Employers with five or more employees need to record the significant findings of the risk assessment. Risk assessments should be straightforward in a simple workplace such as a typical office. It should only be complicated if it deals with serious hazards.
Besides carrying out a risk assessment, employers also need to: