All employers have a general duty to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of employees and other workers. This covers several areas like providing a safe place of work, safe access to work, safe systems of work, safe equipment, safe and competent fellow workers and protection from unnecessary risks of injury.
All employers must have approved mandatory employer’s liability insurance in place for employee injuries. Employers must conduct and regularly update a risk assessment to identify the measures needed to comply with the applicable health and safety and fire requirements. A separate risk assessment should be done for new and expectant mothers.
All employers must make appropriate health and safety arrangements, appoint a competent person to handle this area and consult with staff over health and safety matters. In addition, if they have five or more employees, having a written health and safety policy is a legal requirement.
Employers must make adequate and appropriate first-aid arrangements and tell staff about them. They must also keep an accident book recording (among other things) all major workplace injuries (including any resulting in hospital treatment) any accident requiring seven days off work or more and other dangerous occurrences.
There are also lots of specific rules about health and safety set out in legislation dealing with particular issues like hazardous chemicals, manual handling, noise, fire, electricity, display screens, manual handling, first aid and accidents. Some high-risk workplaces have special rules (eg construction sites).
For more information visit the HSE website.