Breach of HSWA

Vast majority of breaches are remedied by verbal advice and letters issued by enforcing authorities, which are quick, informal and usually effective. More formal methods include improvement and prohibition notices and prosecution.

The HSE can issue:

 Improvement notices are usually served relating to important issues but not where imminent danger exists, e.g. requiring a safety policy risk assessment of a machine or process. The notice must state the legal requirements being broken and require the person on whom it’s served to remedy the contravention within the stated time period, which may not be less than 21 days from the date of its service.

 Prohibition notices are served where activities involve a risk of serious personal injury. Service is effected on the person carrying on or in control of the activities. Notice gives info regarding the complaint but orders the activity to stop until notice complied with. Notice can take immediate effect, or must take effect at the end of the 21 day period allowed for appeal.  Criminal prosecution against companies or its officers for contravening Regs under

HSWA, obstructing or failing to comply with any requirements imposed by inspectors, failing to comply with an improvement or prohibition notice etc. Where person found guilty of failing to discharge a duty under ss 2-6 of HSWA, he is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £20,000, or on conviction on indictment to an unlimited fine. Terms of imprisonment are also available for failing to comply with court orders, improvement notices or prohibition notices.  HSE carry out a name and shame policy, where they attract adverse publicity to the accused, forcing them to improve their heath and safety policies.

 Breach of HSWA cannot lead to civil liability.

Framework Regulations

Purpose they tell e/ers what to do to comply with the HSWA

they’re basically guides to approaching Health and Safety on a practical level

it identifies the risks, etc

the Regs are criminal as well so you’re prosecuted rather than sued

Some of the more common ones:

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

The Noise at Work Regs 1989

The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regs 1998

The Manual Handling Operations Regs 1992

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regs 1999

The Workplace Regs 1992

For the full list and details see Appendix E p305 RB.

Regs intended to supplement the general duties imposed by HSWA 74 with more specific requirements. For more information, follow the abogados Florida blog