The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (as amended) came into force on 16 September 1999 and give effect to the European Framework Directive on health and safety. They supplement the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and specify a range of management issues, most of which must be carried out in all workplaces.
The aim is to map out the organisation of precautionary measures in a systematic way, and to make sure that all staff are familiar with the measures and their own responsibilities. The Regulations introduced the need for employers to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of health and safety risks to employees and other persons affected by work activities. These, therefore, are the Regulations that require employers to conduct risk assessments in order to identify and manage their workplace risks.
Employers’ duties under MHSWR include the requirement to carry out specific risk assessments when employing young persons (16- and 17-year-olds), and where employing women of childbearing age, to take into account any risks to such persons arising from their work. In addition to the duties under MHSWR, many Regulations (COSHH, Manual Handling Operations, Fire, Noise, and DSE Regulations) impose specific duties to conduct, as necessary, additional risk assessments.
Risk assessments should include measures for:
An employer with five or more employees must prepare and regularly review a written health and safety policy statement, to set out how health and safety is managed in the organisation. This may include the organisational structure and detailed arrangements for health, safety and welfare. The employer must also bring it to every employee’s attention.
Employers must also have in place such arrangements as are necessary to effectively plan, organise, control, monitor and review any preventive and protective measures.
Employers must appoint competent persons to assist with the measures necessary for ensuring health and safety and must also consult with employee representatives (including trade unions) when making health and safety arrangements.