Health and Safety in the Workplace

Health and Safety goes back almost 60 years, and it has become an important part of every workplace!

I have put together a timeline which reminds everyone how Health and Safety has developed since the first time it was introduced back in 1956.

Before 1956 there weren’t any laws that affected Health and Safety, but come along “The Agriculture Health and Safety act”, ultimately this was developed to ensure all workers and even children were kept safe around agricultural apparatus. Out of all the laws, the most important one must have been the investigation  and reporting of disease or accidents (which still today plays a big part in society!)

Come 1974, a revolutionary act was created which changed Healthy and Safety in the workplace for everyone, it was called “The Health and Safety at Work act” and when this was introduced it was meant to connect with both employers and employees. To ensure that this act was forced and regulated, the HSC (the Health and Safety Commission) was founded.

Along come the eighties, 1981 was when the HSC decided it was time to introduce the Health and Safety First Aid regulations, this demanded that an employer must ensure the appropriate first aid equipment is available to all workers.

With there being so many different workplace hazards, such as chemicals, electricity, heat sources, machinery, manual handling and even slip and trip hazards just to name a few… you can really see why these regulations have become a requirement for all workplaces to follow and why having the appropriate equipment is a must for all employees!

What is appropriate equipment? Ultimately it depends on what your job role includes, for example: A builder:

Head protection (hard hat) would protect them against head impact.

Eye protection (goggles) to ensure that wind or air movement won’t blow dust or particles into their eyes.

Hand protection (gloves) ultimately this will protect them from cuts, slivers, punctures or even electricity.

Foot protection (boots) they need them to protect them from the impact of falling or rolling objects, slippery or uneven surfaces, stepping on sharp objects and even electrical hazards.

Hearing protection (ear defenders) if they are working in a noisy environment, they will require these to protect them from excessive noise.

High visibility clothing (high vis vest) should the workers be working at night, or in low light, they should wear one.

Breathing protection (dust mask) in some scenarios, the builder may be working around potentially dangerous vapours or even just dust could be dangerous.