The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

One of the set of regulations that all employers need to be familiar with is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. In this Act employers can find all of their legal duties that must be followed to ensure the safety and good health of each worker and sub-contractor while they perform their duties at your work premises. Breaching these laws will land the employer in trouble and failing to comply with the regulations can also seriously increase the risks at work and result in ill health and harm affecting individuals within the organisation.

What Happens if the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is Ignored?

By failing to meet the regulations in this Act, employers will find themselves in trouble with the Health and Safety Executive HSE. Sometimes the inspectors will give the employer a warning and some time to implement changes to bring the company up to scratch. If the inspector discovers very serious breaches, firms obviously ignoring the laws or breaches that result in an extreme risk, it is possible that the employer will be prosecuted.

Once the Health and Safety Executive decide to prosecute, the employer will be called to attend a court appearance. There, the breaches will be told in front of a judge who will listen to both sides of the story. When pleading guilty or being found guilty a fine will be served along with the additional costs of court and legal fees, intervention fees and possible compensation claims if there is an injured party involved who has been affected by the regulations being breached. In more serious cases employers can find themselves with a prison sentence or the company having to close due to a ruined reputation and huge fines to pay.

As you can see it is vital that the Health and Safety at Work Act is followed. Working to meet the regulations improves the overall health and safety management of every company and can lead to better management skills, improved employee health and productivity, fewer accidents and reduced costs. It is certainly worth becoming familiar with these regulations to avoid a wide range of problems from occurring in the future.


When you become an employer you immediately take on a large level of responsibility. It's your duty to ensure each employee is able to work in an environment that will not cause risks to their health and will not lead to them being injured or killed. The regulations help you to discover ways of providing a healthy and safe place to work such as the use of risk assessments, which are a legal requirement.

If you are a new employer or are unfamiliar with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 it is worth learning more. You can do so by attending a suitable training course designed for employers. In the IOSH Managing Safely course you will learn about your legal and moral responsibilities, gain an understanding for the Regulations and legislation and even pick up skills to help you follow the Act effectively.


There are many health and safety training courses available which range from a few hours to a few weeks. You can find training and courses provided by the most respected names and organisations in health and safety right here on our website. Don't expect to get away with failing to follow the laws due to lack of knowledge regarding the subject; as an employer you have to know that there are no excuses.

Learn more about the health and safety Act 1974 by attending a training course. Pick a suitable health and safety course and start complying with the law today.

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