Last edited 14 May 2021

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

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The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 makes explicit requirements for employers to satisfy the requirements of the Health and safety at work etc act 1974.

It sets out Requirements for:

Prevention principles (Schedule 1)

  • Avoiding risks. Where possible risks should be avoided completely. It is impossible to avoid all risks in the workplace, but those that can be avoided should be. The safest risk is the one you don’t take.
  • Evaluating the risks which cannot be avoided. Risks that cannot be avoided should be evaluated through a risk assessment to determine the safest method of work.
  • Combating the risks at source. Combating the risk at source is better than managing the risk through warnings or the use of personal protective equipment (PPR). For example a slippery surface should be treated or replaced as opposed to putting up a warning sign.
  • Adapting the work to the individual. The choice of work equipment and the choice of working and production methods, should be made with a view, in particular, to alleviating monotonous work and work should be carried out at a predetermined work-rate to reduce its effect on health.
  • Adapting to technical progress. Technologic advancement involves adopting solutions to existing problems. When new equipment is developed it is important to take advantage of any opportunities to make working processes safer.
  • Replacing the dangerous by the non-dangerous or the less dangerous. If is not possible remove a risk entirely, it may be possible to replace it with another less dangerous method. For example, it may be possible to substitute a toxic substance for one that is less hazardous, or work from height could be carried out from fixed scaffolding rather than a ladder.
  • Developing a coherent overall prevention policy. This policy should cover technology, organisation of work, working conditions, social relationships and the influence of factors relating to the working environment.
  • Giving collective protective measures priority. Collective protective measures should be given priority over individual protective measures. Collective measures give the greatest benefit to protecting the whole workplace. It is important to consider how preventative measures will work together and ensure they are compatible.
  • Giving appropriate instructions to employees. Control measures introduced will be of little use if the workforce do not comply with them, understand them or know about them. Communication is vital to ensure the successful implementation of health and safety measures to protect everybody.

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