Regulations relating to health and safety

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Chapter 1

Introduction

On the 1st January 1993 six regulations relating to health and safety came into force in Great Britain, these six regulations would ultimately have a major impact on how safety is managed today and would significantly influence the future development of the Safety and Health profession. The regulations themselves were based on European Community Directives, designed to create a common standard of health and safety legislation across all member states.

In what has become known to Safety and Health Professionals as the six-pack regulations, it included;

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  1. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992
  2. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992
  3. The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
  4. The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992
  5. The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1992
  6. The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992

The introduction of these regulations realised a move away from prescriptive legislation, such as the Factories Act 1961, and Railways Shops and Premises Act 1963 which had traditionally “spelt out in detail what should be done” (HSE, 2003, p.4) to a risk assessment based approach to managing safety and health in the workplace.

Importantly the introduction of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSWR) required employers to “appoint one or more competent persons to assist him in undertaking the measures he needs to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed upon him by or under the relevant statutory provisions” (HMSO, 1992, p.3). Arguably the MHSWR focused many employers attention on the need to employ Safety and Health Practitioners in some capacity; this in turn heralded a period of unprecedented training and recruitment for such roles. Today the spotlight has turned to the future development of the profession, and the maintenance of individual competence through Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Aims and objectives

The aim of this research document is to identify current attitudes towards the increasingly important task of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), for those employed as Safety and Health Practitioners or in professions that further the improvement of workplace safety and health standards. This may be through enforcement such as Environmental Health Officers (EHO), employed by local government or specialised roles such as Occupational Hygienists responsible for measuring workplace noise and dust exposure levels to ensure compliance with legislative standards.

For clarity many but not all Safety and Health Practitioners employed to directly manage an organisations safety and health or consultants employed in this field would typically belong to professional bodies such as Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), or the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM). Whereas those employed as EHO’s would firstly belong to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health,

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