Employers H&S Responsibilities

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states clearly that the employer's obligation is to provide a safe working environment. In addition, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, also requires the employer to conduct a suitable and sufficient risk assessment on the health and safety of their workers. If any risks are found then they must be reduced or removed.

The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1999 also say that, if a risk has been identified and cannot be controlled any other way, then protective equipment must be provided. If an employer provides protective equipment then it must be provided free of charge and there must be instructions on how to use it safely.

Wherever special footwear is provided the employer must make sure that it fits properly and should allow the toes wiggle room (about 1cm gap between the longest toe and the end of the shoe). Even if safety footwear is not required then the employer should give advice on appropriate footwear. Safety shoes need to be comfortable and correctly fitted.