Last edited 06 May 2015

Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992


[edit] Introduction

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 implement the European Commission Workplace Directive (89/654/EEC). They came into force in January 1993 and encompass a wide range of fundamental health, safety and welfare issues that are applicable to the majority of workplaces. The exceptions include construction sites, works in or on a ship, or below ground at a mine. They ensure that requirements are set in the workplace so there are no adverse effects on the health and safety of employees.

The duties under the regulations fall to employers and to any other individual who has control over a workplace. This could include for example, owners, landlords or managing agents of businesses.

[edit] Summary of the regulations

The regulations impose a duty on employers (and other applicable individuals) to ensure:

  • All equipment, devices and systems and the workplace itself is maintained in an efficient state, in good repair and in good working order.
  • All equipment, devices and systems are suitably maintained.
  • Effective and suitable ventilation should be provided.
  • The internal temperature of the workplace is reasonable and thermometers are provided for employees.
  • The heating or cooling method used should not result in the escape of fumes, gases or vapours which could cause offence or injury.
  • The lighting levels within the workplace should be maintained so that they do not cause risk to health and safety and wherever possible, natural lighting should be used.
  • The workplace, surfaces and the furniture, furnishings and fittings should be clean.
  • Waste should be appropriately stored and disposed of regularly.
  • Rooms should be of sufficient size to ensure good health, safety and welfare.
  • All workstations and seating must be arranged suitably and not endanger health and enable the user to exit swiftly if need be. A footrest should be provided if required.
  • All floors and traffic routes must be constructed of a material suitable for the purpose they are to be used and not be uneven or slippery. Suitable drainage must be provided where necessary.
  • Employees must be protected from dangerous substances including those that are poisonous, toxic, may burn or scald or any fume, vapour or other substance which is likely to cause danger to any person.
  • Any windows, skylights, translucent doors, walls and ventilators must be constructed from safety material or be protected against breakage. Fittings must also present no risk to health or safety.
  • The workplace must be organised in such a way that pedestrians and vehicles can circulate freely in a safe manner.
  • Suitable and adequate sanitary conveniences must be provided at readily accessible places.
  • An adequate supply of drinking water must be provided.
  • Where the nature of the work deems it appropriate, a suitable and sufficient supply of the following must be provided:
    1. Washing facilities including showers.
    2. Suitable storage for work clothes.
    3. Changing facilities.
    4. Facilities for rest and to eat meals.

The Health and Safety Executive have produced the Approved Code of Practice and Guidance which helps employers to understand the regulations and requirements. A short summary guide is also available.

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