Although reference is made to legislation, this guide should not be considered to be legal advice. The reader should refer to the specific legislation and seek legal advice where necessary, which may vary from time to time.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSW1974) places a duty of care on both the employer and employee to ensure the safety of all persons using the work premises. Management of Health and Safety at Work
Regulations 1999 state that every employer shall make suitable assessment of the risks to health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst at work and the risk to health and safety of persons not in his employement arising of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking.
The management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 also states that:
aa Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work. bb Where the employer employs five or more employees, he shall record the significant findings of the assessment. Electricity at Work regulations 1989 apply to every type of electrical equipment and state:
“As may be necessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, such danger.” (Regulation 4(2))
Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 places general duties on employers and lists minimum requirements for work equipment to deal with selected hazards
whatever the industry.
The Regulations implement an EU Directive aimed at the protection of workers and the “general duties” will require the need to: aa Make sure that equipment is suitable for the use for which it is provided.
bb Take into account the working conditions and hazards in the workplace. cc Ensure equipment is used only for the operations for which, and under conditions for which, it is suitable. dd Ensure equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair. ee Provide equipment that conforms to EU product safety directives ff Plus certain other general duties and specific requirements etc.
Housing Act 2004 (England and Wales) introduced a new method for assessing risk in residential properties, called the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, to provide a safe and healthy environment for any potential occupiers or visitors. This includes portable electrical equipment and the condition of associated leads and plugs should be taken into account if they are provided as part of a
rented dwelling. Portable appliance testing is one method of ensuring that electrical equipment is safe for continued use.
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