Legislation Tool Box Talk – Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

These regulations were introduced to reinforce the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. The MHSWR places duties on employers and employees including those who are clients, designers, principal contractors or other contractors.

Many of the duties overlap with those of CDM but where they go beyond CDM (for example concerning young people and expectant mothers) additional measures will be needed to comply fully with MHSWR.

They require the employer to:

  • Undertake an assessment of all the risks to health and safety of their employees and others who may be affected by their work activity. Employers with 5 or more employees should record the significant findings of this risk assessment.

The following principles of prevention should be applied;

  • avoiding risks
  • evaluating the risks which cannot be avoided
  • controlling the risks
  • adapting the work to the individual, such as the design of workplaces, the choice of work equipment and the choice of working and production methods, with a view, in particular, to alleviating monotonous work and work at a predetermined work-rate and to reducing their effect on health
  • replacing the dangerous by the non-dangerous or the less dangerous
  • developing a coherent overall prevention policy which covers technology, organisation of work, working conditions, social relationships and the influence of factors relating to the working environment
  • giving collective protective measures priority over individual protective measures
  • giving appropriate instructions to employees.
  • To make appropriate arrangements for managing health & safety. Employers of 5 or more should record these arrangements
  • Undertake any health surveillance as is necessary regarding the employees when it has been determined by the risk assessment
  • To appoint competent people, preferably their own employees, to assist in the above measures. Where there is more than one competent person appointed there must be adequate communication.
  • Establish procedures to be followed by any employee should situations arise which could present serious or imminent danger.
  • Provide relevant information on health & safety in a way which can be understood.
  • Ensure co-operation and co-ordination between employers and the self-employed sharing a workplace
  • Ensure employees are given adequate health and safety training and are not given tasks beyond their competence or physical capabilities
  • Provide temporary workers with the appropriate health & safety information to enable them to carry out the work safely

Employees also have duties under MHSWR to:

  • Report any defects in health & safety arrangements
  • Report dangerous situations
  • Use equipment in accordance with training and instruction
  • Take reasonable care of their own health & safety and those of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions