The 5 main objectives of health and safety 

The 5 main objectives of health and safety Midlands Health and Safety Consultancy

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 covers the health and safety standards that should be practised in the workplace. The Act states out the duties everyone has to take to protect themselves and others from workplace hazards and explains the 5 main objectives of health and safety in the workplace.

As a brief overview, the HASAWA 1974 requires that workplaces provide:

  1. To provide safe plant and equipment
  2. Safe use, handling, storage and transportation of articles and substances
  3. To provide a safe place of work with safe access and egress
  4. Suitable provision of relevant information, instruction, training and supervision
  5. Provide a suitable working environment in regards to also providing suitable arrangements for welfare


History of HASAWA

In 1970, the Employed Persons (Health and Safety) Bill was introduced in the UK. However, debate around the bill generated a belief that it did not address fundamental workplace safety issues. A committee of inquiry was established, and in 1974 the Health and Safety at Work Act was passed.

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 was a revolutionary piece of legislation that forms the basis of health and safety legislation across the world today and this act also led to the creation of the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which was put in place to regulate and reinforce UK legislation.

Employees’ responsibilities

Employees also have health and safety responsibilities, including:

  • Taking care of personal health and safety and that of others
  • Not interfering with health and safety protocol or anything else related to it
  • Cooperating on matters of health and safety

Enforcement of Health and Safety legislation

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the governmental appointed body that is responsible for enforcing workplace health and safety legislation in the UK. However, when it comes to enacting enforcement, this responsibility is generally divided between the HSE and relevant local authorities.

Enforcement action

HSE’s emphasis is on prevention but, where appropriate, will enforce the law if it is found to be deliberately flouted.

Enforcement action is taken to ensure dutyholders:

  • Deal immediately with serious risks (so they prevent harm)
  • Comply with the law
  • Are held to account if they fail in their responsibilities


HSE make it clear to dutyholders which matters are subject to enforcement, and the measures that must take to achieve compliance and after any enforcement action follow ups will check that any necessary changes have been made and data published on notices served and prosecutions taken.

For further information on the 5 main objectives of health and safety and how we can help implement this into your company, please contact us here.

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