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Revised guidance to protect the health, safety and welfare of workers

20 November 2013

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published new help for employers on how to protect the health, safety and welfare of their workers.

Following consultation, HSE has reviewed and updated the Workplace Regulations Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) (L24) to make it easier for employers, building owners, landlords and managing agents to understand and meet their legal obligations and so reduce the risks of over compliance.

The ACOP was one of several identified for review and revision, consolidation or withdrawal in line with a recommendation by Professor Ragnar Löfstedt in his report 'Reclaiming health and safety for all'.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 cover a wide range of basic health, safety and welfare issues and apply to most workplaces except for those involving work on construction sites, those who work in or on a ship and those who work below ground at a mine. Legal responsibilities to protect workers’ health and safety are not altered by any changes to the ACOP.

HSE spokesman, Chris Rowe, said: "Across HSE we are working hard to ensure that employers have access to good quality advice which makes clear what they need to do to protect workers. 

"The revised ACOP has not only been updated, it will help employers understand the regulatory requirements on key issues such as temperature, cleanliness, workstations and seating, toilets and washing facilities.”

The HSE stated that the review of and subsequent revision to the Workplace ACOP was subject to public consultation and the changes were agreed by both the HSE Board and the minister of state for responsibility for health and safety.