This page is designed to answer the following questions:
- 13.1a Identify legislation relating to general health and safety in a health or social care work setting (Care Certificate, Standard 13: Health and safety)
- 1.1 Identify legislation relating to general health and safety in a care work setting (Level 2 Diploma in Care, Health, safety and wellbeing in care settings)
- 1.1 Identify legislation relating to health and safety in a care setting (Level 3 Diploma in Adult Care, Promote health, safety and wellbeing in care settings)
- 1.1 Describe current legislation relating to health and safety in own work setting (Level 4 Diploma in Adult Care, Health and Safety in Health and Social Care Settings)
NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2023 as per our Quality Assurance policy.
On this page, we will identify legislation relating to health and safety in a care setting and provide a brief overview of what these will mean to you in your day-to-day work.
On this page
Legislation relating to Health and Safety in a Care Setting
‘Legislation’ refers to the official laws that govern the country. This includes primary legislation (statutes or Acts of Parliament) and secondary legislation (Regulations, Orders, Codes etc.) Secondary legislation is usually delegated to a third party by primary legislation to provide additional details or amendments. Health & Safety regulation is governed by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
The main piece of legislation relating to health and safety is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (often abbreviated to HASAWA). This is primary legislation and is supported by several other regulations. Legislation and regulations relating to Health and Safety in care settings is identified below:
- Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 – the basis for workplace health and safety, identifies the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as the regulator, sets out the responsibilities of employer and employees
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 – employers must carry out risk assessments to reduce or eliminate risks, procedures for emergency situations must be in place, employers must provide information and training
- The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 – employers must assess and minimise the health risks associated with moving and handling, employers must provide adequate information and training (and equipment, where required)
- The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 – employers must risk-assess workstations of staff who use display screens daily for an hour or more
- The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) – employers must provide procedures for reporting work-related accidents and relevant information and training, employers must report and keep 3 years of records of any diseases, dangerous occurrences or accidents that result in death or serious injury
- The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) – employers must assess and prevent exposure to hazardous substances, employers must have risk assessments and procedures in place as well as provide adequate training and information
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 2002 (PUWER) – work equipment must be well-maintained and have visible warning signs, employers must provide training and information to employees
- The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 – employers must provide first aid equipment and qualified first-aiders
- The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 – employers must take reasonable fire safety precautions by completing a fire risk assessment for the premises, and are responsible for supplying and maintaining fire safety equipment, planning escape routes and fire exits and providing fire safety information and training to employees
- The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) – regulation specifically for the use of equipment used for lifting or lowering loads such as hoists or mobility aids, employers must ensure adequate information and training is provided, equipment is well-maintained and it is only used for its intended operation
- Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 – Employers must provide (for free) any required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required by employees such as gloves and aprons, PPE must be maintained and employees have sufficient information and training regarding use and disposal
- Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 – employers must ensure electrical appliances are maintained, tested and labelled as being safe, employees must be trained on how to check electrical appliances and report faults
- Food Safety Act 1990 – anyone handling or preparing food must have good personal hygiene, employers should keep records of where food has come from, any unsafe food should be disposed of and an incident reported
- Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 – controls for food safety should be in place, maintained and reviewed, food safety risk assessments to identify hazards, the environment where food is prepared or cooked should be clean and in good condition
- Civil Contingencies Act 2004 – Establishes how organisations such as emergency services, local authorities and health bodies work in partnership to respond to emergencies and share information, including emergency planning and risk assessment
- Health & Social Care (Safety & Quality) Act 2015 – care providers must provide information about the individuals that they care for using a consistent identifier (NHS number) to provide safe and effective care, individuals convicted of certain offences are removed from the registers of health and social care regulatory bodies
- The Motor Vehicles (Wearing of Seat Belts) Regulations 1983 (amended 2006) – would apply to domiciliary care workers that drive between clients, for example.
It is worth noting that although the HSE is the regulator for the health and safety of workers in England, from 2015 the Care Quality Commission (CQC) became the health and safety regulator for individuals that are receiving care from providers that are registered with them. The HSE continues to regulate health and safety for individuals receiving care in Scotland and Wales.
The HSE and CQC will work very closely with one another (and also local authorities) to regulate areas where there may be crossover or ambiguity in their areas of responsibility.
My name is Daniel Dutton and I run the website dsdweb.co.uk which provides free help, guidance and support for people that are studying for care qualifications.
In this video, we will be looking at legislation that relates to health and safety. I have tried to cover the main laws and regulations that relate to health and social care but this is by no means a comprehensive list. This is one of the assessment criteria for the Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 Diplomas in Adult Care as well as the Care Certificate.
Before I continue, I’d be very grateful if you could click on the thumbs-up button to Like this video and subscribe to my channel. This helps the video to be more visible on Youtube so that it can be easily found by other students.
The primary piece of legislation relating to health and safety is the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. It sets out the responsibilities of employers and employees in relation to health and safety and is overseen by the Health & Safety Executive or HSE.
This act is very generalised and so several regulations have been put in place to provide additional guidance for specific uses. These will be covered next.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 relates to the governance of health and safety within an organisation.
The employer’s responsibilities include carrying out and recording risk assessments and providing employees with information, instruction and training to perform their roles in a safe manner. In addition, organisations must appoint a competent person to oversee the organisation’s duties.
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013, or RIDDOR as it is often shortened to, sets out an employer’s responsibilities to document and report to HSE any work-related accidents that result in death or serious injury, industrial disease and dangerous occurrences.
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, or COSHH, sets out an employer’s responsibilities to ensure that any substances used in the workplace that could cause harm are managed safely and correctly. This includes the way that they are stored, used and disposed of.
The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 aims to protect workers from injuries relating to lifting, carrying and other manual handling operations. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that manual handling operations are only be used where necessary and they should be properly risk assessed.
The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 2002 relates to the safe use of work equipment within the workplace. Equipment should be well-maintained and only used for its intended purpose. Employees that use the equipment must have received suitable information, instruction or training.
The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 ensures that lifting and lowering operations are properly planned and executed by competent persons in a safe manner.
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992 sets out the responsibility of employers to provide employees with required PPE free-of-charge and ensure that they have had sufficient training in how to use PPE correctly.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 sets out the responsibility of employers to reduce the likelihood of fires from starting and spreading in the work premises and that there are clear evacuation routes in the event of an emergency.
The Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 requires employers to provide adequate and appropriate equipment, facilities and personnel to ensure their employees receive immediate attention if they are injured or taken ill at work.
The Food Safety Act 1990 & Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 set out an employer’s responsibility to ensure that food is prepared hygienically and employees have sufficient information, instruction or training to carry out tasks related to food and drink safely.
Thank you for watching and I hope you’ve found this video useful.
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Example question and answer
You have been asked to contribute to an induction day for new staff. You are to prepare a presentation about Health and Safety. It must include the following:
Ai A list of the key legislation relating to health and safety in a social care setting.
Aii An explanation of how health and safety policies and procedures protect people using social care settings.
Aiii An explanation of how health and safety policies and procedures protect people who work in social care settings.
Aiv A comparison of the differences in the main health and safety responsibilities
of each of the following:
a) Social care worker
b) Employer/ manager
c) Individuals using social care services and others in the setting, such as
visitors, supporters, volunteer or contractors.
Av An example of a situation where responsibility for health and safety lies with
the individual receiving care.
Avi An explanation of why each of the following tasks should only be carried out
with specific training and the potential consequences if undertaken by staff that are not trained.
a) Use of equipment
b) First aid
d) Assisting moving and handling
e) Emergency procedures
f) Food handling and preparation.
Avii An explanation of the procedures to be followed to prevent and in the event of each of the following:
b) Gas leak
e) Security breach
Aviii An explanation about the importance of having an emergency plan in place to deal with unforeseen circumstances.
Aix An explanation of how you could encourage others to follow procedures in place for environmental safety.
Ax An explanation of how you could access additional support and information relating to health and safety.