Health and safety regulations in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom there are many regulations relevant to safety and health at work. Many of these give effect to European Union directives.

Regulations made under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974

Breach of the regulations is a crime throughout the UK. In England and Wales contravention is punishable on summary conviction or on indictment with an unlimited fine.[1] Either an individual or a corporation can be punished[2] and sentencing practice is published by the Sentencing Guidelines Council.[3]

In England and Wales, a person who suffered damage caused by a breach of the regulations, used to have a cause of action in tort against the offender.[4] However, s69 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013[5] repealed this right of action. This prevents a claimant for claiming damages against an employer for contravention of an absolute duty. Instead, they must now prove that the employer was negligent as with other torts. A similar right of action exists in Scotland through the law of delict.

The "six pack" regulations


A full list of all UK Health & Safety legislation can be found on the HSE website[31]


Registration REACH in the UK is planned for 8 November.[32]


  1. Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, ss.33(1)(c), 33(3)
  2. Interpretation Act 1978, s.5
  3. "(K) Miscellaneous offences - Health and Safety offences". Guideline Judgements Case Compendium. Sentencing Guidelines Council. 2005. Archived from the original on 2006-10-03. Retrieved 2008-03-08.
  4. Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, s.47
  5. "Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013". Retrieved 2016-06-07.
  6. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
  7. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
  8. The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
  9. The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992
  10. SI 2002/1689
  11. SI 2002/2677
  12. The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013
  13. SI 1999/257
  14. The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
  15. Statutory Instrument 1998 No. 2307
  16. Control of Lead at Work Regulations 1997
  17. Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005
  18. Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002
  19. Dangerous Substances in Harbour Areas Regulations 1987
  20. Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999
  21. Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977
  22. The Confined Spaces Regulations 1997
  23. The Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001
  24. The Work at Height Regulations 2005
  27. HSE Health and Safety legislation
  28. "Defra's statement of forthcoming legislation 2008" (PDF). Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. March 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-03.


  • [Various authors] (2007). Tolley's Health and Safety at Work Handbook 2007. London: Butterworths. ISBN 0-7545-3318-2.
  • Stranks, J. (2005). Health and Safety Law (5th ed.). London: Prentise Hall. ISBN 9780131976467.
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