Health and safety

Powers and Responsibilities

The Health and Safety at Work Act is an ‘umbrella’ Act. It covers:

  1. responsibilities and enforcement
  2. safe systems of work
  3. safety policy
  4. information, instruction and training
  5. safety representatives

Under this legislation, it is a criminal offence for an employer or self-employed person to carry on their business without having taken reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of themselves or others.

Employers Responsibility

Ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees is taken care of:

  1. provide and maintain safe equipment and ensure safe systems of work
  2. ensure materials used at work are properly stored, handled, used and transported
  3. provide information, instruction, training and supervision
  4. provide a safe place of employment
  5. provide written safety policies
  6. look after the health and safety of others
  7. talk to safety representatives
  8. Employees Responsibility – Workers have a legal responsibility to:
  9. take care of themselves and others
  10. co-operate with the employer
  11. not to interfere with articles provided in the interest of health and safety
  12. Suppliers and contractors have to abide by the pub Health and Safety policy
  13. Enforcement of Health and Safety in pubs is carried out by the local Council’s Environmental Health Department.

The powers they have are:

  1. right of entry, without appointment
  2. right to investigate and examine
  3. right to take photographs or samples
  4. right to dismantle or take away substances or equipment
  5. right to see documents and take copies
  6. right to assistance
  7. right to ask questions
  8. right to seize articles or substances

They may give advice, serve legal notices i.e. Improvement or Prohibition Notices and prosecute with fines of up to £20,000 in lower courts. Much higher penalties and imprisonment can be imposed by higher courts

Incident Reporting

Appointment of Health and Safety Advisor
Regulations require employers to have access to competent help in applying the provisions of Health and Safety Law and in advising and applying protective measures. A self-employed employer, or a partner in a partnership, can undertake the measures without assistance, providing he or she has sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities.

Any person employing five people or more is required to have a written Health and Safety Policy.
In addition, an Accident Book together with a written risk assessment must be kept.

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR)
Certain, more serious, incidents and injuries must be reported to the local authority immediately by fax or by phone. This should be followed up in writing within 10 days on Form 2058, or for illnesses on F2058A.

You must report the following to the appropriate authority
Certain injuries to employees, self-employed people working on your premises and members of the public. Fatalities and major injuries must be reported immediately (for example by telephone) and a fuller report submitted on Form F2508 within 10 days.

Other injuries which cause the sufferer to be unable to do their normally work for more than three days (including days in which they do not normally work) must be reported in writing on Form F2508 within 10 days.

IMPORTANT: Before you disclose details of accidents involving employees, injured persons must give their consent to the release of personal information. Where such consent is not given, you are obliged to present information about accidents in anonymous form.
Reports can also be made by telephone on 0845 300 9923, by fax on 0845 300 9924, by email to or via the internet at

Reportable work related diseases suffered by your employees, as notified to you by a doctor, must be reported in writing on Form F2508A within 10 days.

Certain dangerous occurrences which could have led to reportable injuries, although an injury did not occur as result, must be reported immediately (for example by telephone) and a full report on Form F2508 sent within 10 days.

Reports should be made to the enforcing authority. The addresses and telephone numbers of both can be found in your local telephone book.

If you are not clear whether a report is necessary, the enforcing authority can advise you, or you can ring the HSE’s helpline 08701 545500.

Copies of Form F2508 and F2508A are available form the health and Safety Executive and

Records must be kept of the accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences that you report. The accident book is kept for this purpose.