Before we start it must be made clear that the information provided here is for guidance only and should not be considered to be legal advice. We strongly encourage you to refer to the specific legislation and seek legal advice where necessary.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSW 1974)
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a duty of care on both the employer and employee to ensure the safety of all persons using the work premises.
Electricity at Work Regulations 1989
The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 apply to every type of electrical equipment and states:
As may be neccessary to prevent danger, all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, such danger. (Regulation 4(2))
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 state;
that every employer shall make suitable assessment of the risks to health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst at work and the risk to the health and safety of persons not in his employment arising of or in connection with the conduct by him of his undertaking.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 also states that:
Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work.
Where the emloyer employs five or more employees, he shall record the significant findings of the assessment.
Provision and Use of WorkEquipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER 1998)
The Provision and Use of WorkEquipment Regulations 1998 places general duties on employers and lists minimum requirements for work equipment to deal with selected hazards whatever the industry.
The Regulation implemented an EU Directive aimed at the protection of workers and the “general duties” will require the need to:
- Make sure that equipment is suitable for the use for which it is provided.
- Take into account the working conditions and hazards in the workplace.
- Ensure equipment is used only for the operations for which, and under the conditions for which, it is suitable.
- Ensure that equipment is maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order, and in good repair.
- Provide equipment that conforms to EU product safety directives.
Housing Act 2004 (England and Wales)
The Housing Act 2004 (England and Wales) introduced a new method for assessing risk in residential properties, called the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, to provide a safe and healthy environment for any potential occupier or visitors.
This includes portable electrical appliances and the condition os associated leads and plugs should be taken into account if they are provided as part of a rented dwelling.
Portable Appliance Testing is one method of ensuring that electrical equipment is safe for continued use.
Housing (Scotland) Act 2006
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 defines the statutory requirements that have to be met by a private landlord and includes the electrical installation and electrical appliances.
The landlord must ensure that the property meets the requirements at the start of the tenancy and at all times during the tenancy where the landlord is made aware of possible defects.