Safety Law and Health 

It is more than a century that the intervention related to safety and health legislative is in existence. However, this legislation was not active before 1974. Before this particular year, there were 3 other acts actively operating as principal statutes. Those acts were:

  1. Fire Precautions Act 1971
  2. Offices, Shops and Railway Premises Act 1963
  3. Factories Act 1961

It was Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 which combined all these above stated acts and became the highest statutes. This act extended to all the regulations regarding safety and health issues. The important regulation under it was COSHH regulation 1998 (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health). This was one of the ‘daughter directives’ which saw to the issues like heavy load handling, utilisation of biological and carcinogenic agents, utilisation of VDU (visual display units), and most importantly, noise control.

There were also a number of extra regulations that saw dealt in areas like:

  1. Noise at workplace
  2. Safety signs
  3. Sanitary facilities and its various provision
  4. Ventilation
  5. Fire precautions
  6. Any form of workplace violence

It was during 1998 that UK law initiated a new step by introducing a legislation having both ‘Health and Safety Commission codes’ as well as EU origin. This was known as ‘Working Time Regulations.’

One of the major reasons for seeing such a speedy growth in the directives of EU was the addition of Treaty of Rome in Single European Act 1987. This approach made sure that the directives were accepted to synchronise with safety and health legislation under EU.

Again, there are 2 possible divisions of safety and health law. The first comprises of civil sphere whereas the other one comprises of criminal sphere. Between both of these, the former one is about the law related to people who suffered more while working and want compensation for their damages. Policing of the next one is done by local authority inspectorates and safety and health executives. This focuses more on the preventive measures.


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