The Health and Safety at Work Act 40 years on
While this year has marked Suresite’s 20th Anniversary, an act that underpins some of the very standards we work towards as a Health & Safety advisor has reached its 40th anniversary – The Health and Safety at Work Act. As the recently released figures show, the act has undoubtedly made Britain a safer place to work, preventing many injuries and deaths, as well as adapting to an ever changing world by calling for those who create risk to effectively manage it.
Figures show that the number of people who have lost their lives at work has dropped by an impressive 85% and injuries by 77% over the past 40 years. The figures speak for themselves in how crucially important the act has been in dramatically improving the safety of workplaces across all sectors, creating a world class regulatory system that continues to keep workers safe.
Judith Hackitt, Chair of the HSE – the independent regulator created from the act, said “Our health and safety law places responsibility on those who create risk to manage that risk in a proportionate practical way. It sets standards in terms of outcomes to be achieved, not by straitjacketing duty holders and business into doing things in a particular way according to prescriptive rules.
“This means that it is universally applicable – regardless of whether you’re farming, fracking for shale gas or working with nano-materials in an ultra high-tech laboratory. The Heath and Safety at Work Act may be 40 years old but it – and our regulatory system – are world class.”
More information on the impact the act has had can be found on the HSE website.