What does the law say?

The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational Health & Safety in Great Britain. The Health & Safety Executive, with Local Authorities (and other enforcing authorities) is responsible for enforcing the Act.

The Act and subsequent regulations cover all aspects of Health & Safety in the workplace, but the duties of an employer can be summed up as follows:

  1. It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.
  2. Without prejudice to the generality of an employer’s duty under the preceding subsection, the matters to which that duty extends include in particular:

(a) The provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health;

(b) Arrangements for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances;

(c) The provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees;

(d) So far as is reasonably practicable as regards any place of work under the employer’s control, the maintenance of it in a condition that is safe and without risks to health and the provision and maintenance of means of access to and egress from it that are safe and without such risks;

(e) The provision and maintenance of a working environment for his employees that is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe, without risks to health, and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work.

3. Except in such cases as may be prescribed, it shall be the duty of every employer to prepare and as often as may be appropriate revise a written statement of his general policy with respect to the health and safety at work of his employees and the organisation and arrangements for the time being in force for carrying out that policy, and to bring the statement and any revision of it to the notice of all of his employees.

How can I be compliant?

It sounds complicated and can be a cause of concern for most small business that do not have the benefit of a Health & Safety specialist on their staff. However we know what it is that you need to do to be Safe and Legal, so we’ve included in your Membership a Due Diligence System which has the documents you need to help you ensure your paperwork is up to scratch. This includes:

  • Heath & Safety Risk Assessment 
  • Health & Safety Policy Document
  • First Aid & Sickness 
  • Other Policy Documents including:
    • Smoking
    • Environmental 
    • Drugs & Alcohol
    • Safeguarding Children & Vulnerable Adults
    • Food Allergy & Intolerance
    • Personal Hygiene
    • Glass
    • Gloves
    • Money Handling

In addition, Members can call us for advice or with any questions they may have. We have specialist staff trained in Health & Safety, so we probably know the answer – and if we can’t answer your question, we will know someone who can!

What if you think the outcome is unfair? 

First, contact the food safety team manager at the local authority which your business is registered with. They’ll try to resolve the problem informally but if you’re still unhappy and if you’re an NCASS member you can refer it to us in writing so we can advise you.

You also have the right to appeal to a Magistrate’s Court against an improvement notice and against a local authority’s refusal to lift and emergency prohibition order. If the court deems that premises have been shut/food has been seized without proper reason, you’ll have the right to compensation.

Fancy some training?

Why not check out our Health and Safety training course for anyone who needs to understand Health & Safety in the catering environment. Or if you need to refresh your knowledge on the Health and Safety at work Act 1974. 


We'll help with your legal responsibilities and simplify your compliancy obligations.

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