Under the Health and Safety at Work Act (HASAWA) 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSW) 1999, employers have a legal duty to assess all risks to the health and safety of employees, including cleaning staff. If the risk assessment shows that it is not possible for the work to be done safely, then other arrangements must be put in place.
Risk assessments are the responsibility of the employer, but safety representatives have the legal right to be consulted about them. Employers are also under a duty to provide:
■ Facilities for first aid under the Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981.
■ Suitable equipment and training in its use under the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998.
■ Information and training on lifting and handling under the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992.
■ Information and training on any chemicals used under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 1999.
■ Training and information on fire risk assessments under the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 (as amended in 1999), and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
Employers must also report certain accidents suffered by employees, including incidences of violence, under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR)1995.