Why do a risk assessment? Continued

Legal responsibilities

As well as your management responsibilities, you also have legal obligations where health and safety risk assessment is concerned.

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974

Known as the HASWA, this legislation was introduced in 1974 to make employers responsible for ensuring that employees and others are safeguarded from any harm that could result from the business's activities.

Alongside the act, which is fairly general, there are a number of regulations that apply to specific working situations and places of work.

The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSWR) 1999

This key set of regulations specifically require all employers to carry out a suitable risk assessment in the workplace.

In addition to these, there are several other regulations covering specific work situations. Some of these, like the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) also require that a specific risk assessment is carried out for that particular situation.

There's no need to be alarmed by the vast amount of legislation out there. You only really need to be aware of the regulations that relate to what's going on in your particular business. Visit our toolkit for a full list of the main regulations you should be aware of.

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