health and safety
Also found in: Acronyms.
health and safetythe regulation of organizations' working methods so as to discourage dangerous practices. It is usually understood to focus on the avoidance of accidents rather than the active promotion of good health, although the latter can form part of a health and safety policy Concern for safety can be worthwhile for employers, as well as for employees. Absence from work due to accidents at work is costly Nevertheless in many firms health and safety is not given the attention it deserves, in part because the benefits of safe working conditions may only become apparent once accidents have occurred, in part because the encouragement of safe working methods can slow down production speeds.
In the UK, legislation has regulated working conditions since the mid-nineteenth century The main legislation today is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. This requires employers to formulate a written safety policy, places an obligation on employees to observe safety rules, and allows for the appointment of TRADE UNION safety representatives with time off from normal duties to attend to safety matters. The Act established the Health and Safety Commission to formulate safety regulations and codes of practice, and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to enforce the provisions of the Act. HSE inspectors are responsible for ensuring that employers obey safety regulations, and have the right to enter workplaces to carry out investigations.