Health and safety legal responsibilities

Last reviewed on 26/06/2014 09:07

Every organisation has a legal obligation to manage occupational health and safety and to ensure they have appropriate arrangements in place at all times, whatever their size or type of organisation.

The benefits of a well managed health and safety system outweigh the impact in time, money and productivity to your business that can arise when poorly managed.

All businesses or organisations, whatever their size or type, must:

Appoint a competent person

To help you meet your health and safety duties. This does not have to be an external consultant. It can be someone within your company who has had the necessary training.

Make suitable arrangements for management, review and control

Of all your health and safety measures and procedures, as well as reviewing/managing procedure.

Have a health and safety policy

A good health and safety policy doesn't need to be cumbersome but should relate directly to your staff and your business.

Risk assessment

Risk assessments identify hazards in your workplace, they help you to put sensible controls in place which prevent accidents and ill health.

Carry out staff consultation

You need to consult with all staff on issues that could affect their health and safety at work.

Staff training

You must provide free health and safety training for your staff.

Adequate staff welfare facilities

As well as considering the welfare needs of certain employees, eg. pregnant women or those with disabilities.

Accident reporting

You must have a clear system for reporting accidents and incidents. This should include a procedure for reportable incidents.

Display a health and safety law poster

Or issue each employee with the Health and Safety Executive leaflet, Health and Safety Law: What you need to know.

Employers Liability Compulsory Insurance

Most businesses with employees are required to have Employer Liability Compulsory Insurance (ELCI).

Have you considered?

First aid arrangements

In the event of employees becoming ill or injured at work.


Health and safety - quick start guide

Create a health and safety policy

Health and safety checklist legal responsibilities

You can also call our Adviceline for free confidential advice, to request a workplace visit, or to register for our Award programme which recognises and accredits good practice. ​