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Health and Safety in the workplace

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Employers have a general duty under section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work.

These regulations aim to ensure that workplaces meet the health, safety and welfare needs of all members of a workforce, including people with disabilities. Where necessary, parts of the workplace, including in particular doors, passageways, stairs, showers, washbasins, lavatories and workstations, should be made accessible for disabled people.

The employer also has a duty to provide safe plant and machinery and safe premises, a safe system of work and competent trained and supervised staff. Certain groups of employees may require more care and supervision than others, for example disabled workers, pregnant workers, illiterate workers etc.

Health and safety laws affect all temporary workers.  As a recruitment agency you should provide information about the work expected to be performed and any specific risks or hazards associated with each assignment.  Failure to do so could result in a criminal prosecution. Failure to ensure safe working practises could also lead to an employee suing for personal injury or, in some extreme cases, the employer being prosecuted for corporate manslaughter.

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