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Health and safety has immense importance in any working environment and it is vital that everyone follows the procedures and policies within their work setting. The law states that the local authority, governing body, proprietor or other employing body is accountable for health and safety however responsibilities associated with its implementation may be delegated to the employees.
Health and safety at Work Act 1974
This act sets the responsibility for health and safety with the employer but also gives the employee some responsibility, this ensures that everyone within a setting has some responsibility for health and safety of anyone who is there. The act ensures that everyone is entitled to a safe environment. The act in enforced by the HSE as they are the UKs government body responsible for health and safety at work. However, the role of enforcement is divided between HSE and local authorities depending on the business sector.
This act has been implemented within a setting, such as:
? Ensuring that the overall environment is clean and safe
? Rules for staffing requirements and child-adult ratio for different age groups are also set in place. It includes the basic required qualifications for class teachers and teaching assistants e.g. Early Years
? Carrying out consistent risk assessment in the school premises and proposing changes where required e.g. fire exits
The act ensures that every workplace provides safety and not propose risks to an employees’ health. There must be sufficient welfare facilities provided, basic needs such as; the provision of toilet, washing and changing facilities and eating facilities. This act has been implemented within the setting, for example :
? providing facilities for pregnant women and nursing mothers e.g. breastfeeding room
? arrangements to protect non-smokers from tobacco smoke e.g. smoking area
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health also known as ‘COSHH’. COSHH regulations 2002. These present a framework to aid in protecting people in the workplace against health risks from hazardous substances. The substances possibly will be used directly in the workplace (e.g. cleaning chemicals) or can take place from the work (e.g. dusts, fumes and waste products). This law requires employees to be in command of these substances. It is required for employers to either prevent or reduce or at least control exposure to hazardous substances to make sure to prevent any ill health to their workers. This act has been implemented within a setting i.e. Keeping cleaning products/equipment away from children within a school.

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