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CGLI 2365 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures) Level 2 Unit 201 – Health and safety in building services engineering

Unit 01 – Health and Safety Legislation

Health and Safety Legislation Learning outcome The learner will: 1.

Know health and safety legislation

Assessment Criteria The learner can: 1.1. State the aims of health and safety legislation 1.2. Identify the responsibilities of individuals under health and safety legislation 1.3. Identify statutory and non-statutory health and safety materials 1.4. Identify the different roles of Health and Safety Executive in enforcing health and safety legislation

Range Health and safety legislation: The Health & Safety at Work Act, The Electricity at Work Regulations, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations, Working at Heights Regulations, Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations (PPE), Lifting and Manual handling Operations Regulations, Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations, Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations, Health, Safety and Welfare Regulations, Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations, Confined Spaces Regulations. Individuals: Employers, employees and contractors, visitors to site. Health and safety materials: Acts of Parliament, Regulations, Approved Codes of Practice, HS

Health and Safety Legislation Health, safety and welfare legislation has increased the awareness of everyone to the risks involved in the workplace. All Acts of Parliament must be obeyed and, therefore, we all need an understanding of the laws as they apply to the building services industry. There are several pieces of legislation that, directly or indirectly, impact on safety in the workplace. Statutory legislation results from the passing of an Act of Parliament. It may be interpreted by the courts as the result of test cases brought before them. Such Acts are supported by Regulations which, although not in themselves statutory, amplify the law. When interpreting these Acts and Regulations the following definitions apply: 

Employer – A person or body that employs one or more persons under a contract of employment.

Employee – A person employed by an employer under a contract of employer.

Colchester Institute

Unit 01 Page 1

September 2012


CGLI 2365 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures) Level 2 Unit 201 – Health and safety in building services engineering

Unit 01 – Health and Safety Legislation 

Self-employed – This covers anyone who works for gain or reward other than under a contract of employment.

Visitors to Site – This covers any person who comes on to the site who are not usually there and so are unlikely to be familiar with the site and its Health and Safety requirements.

Statutory – This means that it is binding in law and is a criminal act to contravene it.

Status of Acts & Regulations Acts (of Parliament) are ‘statutory’ that means they are legally binding and therefore enforceable by law. Certain Regulations are made under Acts of Parliament and, as a result, are also statutory. Regulations made under health and safety legislation are sometimes supplemented by Codes of Practice approved and/or issued by the Health and Safety Commission. Approved Codes of Practice give practical guidance on compliance. Failure to comply with an Approved Code of Practice is not an offence in itself. However, these codes have special legal status. If an employer/individual faces criminal prosecution under health and safety law, and it is proved that the advice of the Approved Code of Practice has not been followed, a court can regard it as evidence of guilt unless it is satisfied that the employer/individual has complied with the law in some other way. Following Approved Codes of Practice is therefore regarded as best practice. Other Regulations have advisory/guidance purposes only and as a result they are ‘nonstatutory’, that is, they cannot be enforced by law. However, non-statutory Regulations are generally considered to reflect standards of good practice and may be cited in a court of law. Additionally, although certain Regulations have no legal status themselves, they are based on Acts/Regulations that are statutory and consequently, breaking the non-statutory Regulations will often result in breaking one or more statutory Acts or Regulations. Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 This legislation is statutory and is an enabling Act, which means that it allows other Acts or Regulations to be introduced and enforced by this Act. They are also referred to as HASAWA or HSW, is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety in the United Kingdom. The Health and Safety Executive is responsible for enforcing the Act and a number of other Acts and Statutory Instruments relevant to the working environment. The employer has a duty to care for the Health and Safety of employees (Section 2 of the Act). To do this s/he must ensure that: 

the working conditions and standards of hygiene are appropriate;

the plant, tools and equipment are properly maintained;

the necessary safety equipment – such as personal protective equipment, dust and fume extractors and machine guards – is available and properly used;

the workers are trained to use equipment and plant safely.

Colchester Institute

Unit 01 Page 2

September 2012


CGLI 2365 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures) Level 2 Unit 201 – Health and safety in building services engineering

Unit 01 – Health and Safety Legislation Employees have a duty to care for their own Health and Safety and that of others who may be affected by their actions (Section 7 of the Act). To do this they must: 

take reasonable care to avoid injury to themselves or others as a result of their own work activity;

co-operate with their employer, helping her/him to comply with the requirements of the Act;

not interfere with or misuse anything provided to protect their Health and Safety.

Failure to comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act is a criminal offence and any infringement of the law can result in heavy fines, a prison sentence or both. Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 These statutory Regulations were made under HASAWA, to ensure the health and safety from electricity of all persons in the workplace. See page 4 of ‘Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment Book A’. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002 These Regulations are statutory and requires employers to control substances that are hazardous to health. See page 10 of ‘Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment Book A’. The Working at Heights Regulations 2005 These are statutory and apply to all work at height where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury. See page 11 of ‘Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment Book A’. Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 These Regulations are statutory and deals with all equipment (including clothing affording protection against the weather) which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work and which protects them against one or more risks to their Health and Safety. See page 16 of ‘Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment Book A’. Manual handling Operations Regulations 1992 These Regulations are statutory and aim to reduce the very large incidence of injury and ill health caused by the manual handling of loads at work. See page 17 of ‘Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment Book A’. Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 These Regulations are statutory and cover all tools used in all areas covered by HASAW whether provided by the employer or the employee. See page 18 of ‘Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment Book A’. Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2006 These Regulations are statutory and prohibit the transportation, supply and use of all forms of asbestos. See page 19 of ‘Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment Book A’.

Colchester Institute

Unit 01 Page 3

September 2012


CGLI 2365 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures) Level 2 Unit 201 – Health and safety in building services engineering

Unit 01 – Health and Safety Legislation Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 These Regulations are statutory and aim to ensure that workplaces meet the health, safety and welfare needs of all members of the workforce, including people with disabilities. See page 7 of ‘Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment Book A’. Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 These Regulations are statutory and place a duty on employers to make adequate first aid provision for their employees, in case they become ill or injured at work. Confined Spaces Regulations 2001 These Regulations are statutory. Confined Space refers to any place, including any vessel, tank, container, pit, bund, chamber, cellar or any other similar space which, by virtue of its enclosed nature, creates conditions that give rise to a likelihood of an accident, harm or injury of such a nature as to require emergency action due to: 

the presence or reasonable foreseeable presence of: o flammable or explosive atmospheres o harmful gas, fume or vapour o free flowing solid or an increasing level of liquid o excess of oxygen o excessively high temperature the lack or reasonably foreseeable lack of oxygen

For more information see pages 2 to 24 of ‘Installing Electrotechnical Systems & Equipment Book A’ (ISBN 978 0 435 031268).

Colchester Institute

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September 2012


2365 201 U01 - Health and Safety Legislation - Complete