BCL senior associate Tom McNeill‘s article Individual Failings has been published in Tomorrow’s Health & Safety magazine.
Here is a short extract from the article*. If you wish to read the full article, please visit Tomorrow’s Health & Safety magazine.
Scope of legal duties
The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA) places a number of general duties on employers and others, breach of which is a criminal offence. While health and safety regulations impose more specific (and sometimes stricter) requirements, the overarching duties on employers are those contained in sections 2 and 3 of the HSWA. These require employers to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of employees and non-employees affected by the conduct of the undertaking.
Employers can delegate the performance of the duties to others, but not responsibility for non-performance. Even if an organisation has devised a safe system of work, a failure to operate that system, whether by an employee or contractor, is likely to place the employer in breach of its duty. Reasonably practicable steps will include not only instructing on safety procedures but also ensuring that they are followed, such as by reasonable supervision and monitoring.
*This article was first published by Tomorrow’s Health & Safety in July 2022. If you wish to read the full article, please visit Tomorrow’s Health & Safety magazine.