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 40 years of the Health & Safety at Work Act

40 years of the Health & Safety at Work Act

30 August 2014 Email this article

Last month marked the 40th birthday of Health & Safety at Work Act. Introduced in 1974, it completely changed the regulatory framework for the UK’s workplace health and safety by placing the responsibility for managing risks with the person responsible for creating the risk - along with ensuring employees must also take care of both themselves, and their colleagues.

In a statement which outlined the Act's importance while looking to the future, the HSE said: "We have made considerable progress in rebuilding the reputation of health and safety among the British workers and public whose lives it protects.

"We have actively campaigned against those ‘jobsworths’ who misuse the Act, or those who trivialise its purpose by using health and safety as a convenient excuse for unpopular decisions or to defend poor service.

"One of the reasons our regulatory system remains fit for purpose for the 21st Century is that we continue to evolve, preserving the good, whilst being bold enough to move on."