Legal Duties Toolbox Talk

This blog can be delivered to your staff as a Toolbox Talk. If you require a specific Toolbox Talk for your workplace, please feel free to get in touch.

Reason: You should be aware of your legal duties. You cannot comply with the law if you are not aware of what it says.

Outline: This talk explains the legal duties of employees under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and secondary legislation in the form of regulations.

Health and safety law bookletFramework of health and safety law

  1. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 is the primary piece of legislation covering occupational health and safety. It gives the underlying principles of how work activities should be carried out safely.
  2. More detailed secondary legislation is provided through the issue of regulations, which also carry the full force of law.
  3. The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act and related regulations are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local authorities.
  4. Legislation is constantly being revised and updated – up-to-date information can be found on the website

Your legal duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act

  1. You must safeguard your own health and safety and that of others (such as other workers and members of the public) who may be affected by your actions or omissions.
  2. You must co-operate with your employer to help them comply with their legal duties.
  3. You must not interfere with anything provided for health and safety.

Your legal duties under the regulations

Some of the legal duties imposed on employees by regulations are shown below.

  • General safety – To follow the training and instructions provided when using machinery, equipment, dangerous substances, transport equipment or safety devices. Report anything which you believe could endanger your own health or safety or that of others.
  • Information, instruction and training – Attend a site induction before starting work on a new site, when requested by your employer or principal contractor or when site hazards change.
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) – You must use PPE in accordance with training and instructions given. Report loss or damage and store correctly after use.
  • Control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) – You must make use of any control measures, such as ventilation or PPE, provided to enable you to work safely with hazardous substances.
  • Noise – You must wear hearing protection and take other actions that your employer may decide are necessary to protect your hearing.
  • Manual handling – You must make use of any system of work provided by your employer to eliminate or reduce the likelihood of manual handling injuries.
  • Electricity – You must co-operate with your employer and follow instructions with regard to working safely.




Why is it important not to interfere with items provided for your health and safety?

How can you assist your employer to comply with their legal duties?

What should you do if your safety helmet is damaged?

What does co-operate mean?

Now inform your workers of the company policy regarding general health and safety duties.

If you have any questions about the contents of this Toolbox Talk, do not hesitate to contact us – our team would be happy to help you with any queries. Find more Toolbox Talks here.