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40th Anniversary of the
Health and Safety at Work Act

This year will mark 40 years since Health and Safety at Work Act received Royal Assent. Arguably it is one of the best pieces of legislation on the statute books. It has protected millions of British workers, and driven sharp reductions in incidents of occupational death, serious injury and ill health.


In 1974, fatalities to employees covered by the legislation in place then stood at 651. The latest figure for 2012/13 was down to 148 for employees and self employed combined. There is still room for improvement clearly, but the change in the last 40 years is quite remarkable.

Before the 1974 Act there was a host of different regulations – some industries swamped with prescriptive rules and others with little or no regulation at all. Something needed to be done.


The 1972 Robens Report concluded there were too many regulations and that what was needed was a regulatory regime that set broad, non-prescriptive goals for dutyholders, underpinned by a fundamental principle: ‘those that create risk are best placed to manage it’.


Forty years on despite having diversified away from an economy based predominantly on heavy industry and manufacturing, much of the original vision and framework of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 remains relevant. The principles have been applied time and again to new and emerging technologies and sectors. 

Much of our current reform agenda is aimed at: stripping out unnecessary or duplicated regulation and helping smaller businesses to understand how to take a proportionate approach to managing their risks – but the basic principles remain the same.


Forty years on the Health and Safety at Work Act has demonstrated it can be applied to new responsibilities and new demands, creating the framework for people to come home safe and well from a day’s work in any sector of the economy.

Happy Anniversary!

Asbestos guidance revised
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has revised guidance to help businesses understand how to work safely with asbestos.
The Approved Codes of Practice (ACOP) L127 (The management of asbestos in non-domestic premises) and L143 (Work with materials containing asbestos) have been consolidated into one single revised ACOP – L143 Managing and working with asbestos.

Frequently asked questions...

What is an asbestos survey and do I need one?

An asbestos survey is an effective way to help you manage asbestos in your premises by providing accurate information about the location, amount and type of any asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). An asbestos survey will identify:

  • The location of any asbestos-containing materials in the building.
  • The type of asbestos they contain.
  • The condition these materials are in.
What is an asbestos risk register?

The asbestos risk register is a key component of the required plan on how you will manage any asbestos found, or presumed to be, in your buildings. This management plan must contain current information about the presence and condition of any asbestos in the building. The asbestos risk register will therefore need to be updated on a regular basis (at least once a year).

The first snow of winter hit the south of England, as forecasters warn more is expected to fall during February.  Here's a reminder in order to keep safe this winter...

Snow and Ice Walking to and from car parks or between buildings during this weather requires special attention to avoid slipping and falling. Slips and falls are some of the most frequent types of injuries during the winter months.

Employees should be reminded to avoid boots or shoes with smooth soles and heels, such as plastic and leather soles and instead, wear a pair of well insulated boots with good rubber treads and to walk slowly and with shorter steps when on icy surfaces.

Main pathways and steps should be cleared as far as possible of snow and ice to allow safe access to buildings. Employees should be reminded to remove as much snow and water from their boots as they can when entering buildings as water from melting ice on the floor can also lead to slippery conditions.

Myths concerning winter driving, along with realities...

  • Myth: If you do find yourself forced to drive in snow or ice you should try to avoid using your brake, and instead slow down by using your gears. 
    Reality:  This would depend on the exact circumstances. It is more important to make sure that the vehicle is moving in a straight line when either increasing or decreasing speed. Any input from the driver to control the speed should be made as smoothly as possible.
  • Myth: In the event that you find yourself skidding you should steer into the skid. 
    Reality: No, instead you should look in the direction in which you want to travel and steer that way. However, understanding the theory is one thing – having the wherewithal to respond intuitively in such a manner is another and is likely to require specific driver training.
  • Myth: Getting a stationary vehicle moving in snow or ice, particularly when on a slope, requires hard revving to provide the initial impetus for movement. 
    Reality: No. In fact, the application of the above technique may further compact the snow and ice under your tyres, thus creating a polished surface and further impeding your progress. Instead you should make sure that you are pulling with the drive wheels ie go forward in a front wheel drive vehicle and backward in a rear wheel drive vehicle.
  • Myth: As long as I clear my windscreen of snow I will be alright. 
    Reality: Although clearing the windscreen of snow is obviously important, all other windows should be cleared as well. Drivers often forget to clear the roof and bonnet and then the snow slides or blows off to cover the windows you spent all that time clearing, thus blocking your vision.
Quantum Compliance have been providing training solutions for many years to some of the UK and Europe’s biggest companies and organisations, and are quickly being established as one of the UK’s leading health and safety training providers, offering a range of health and safety training courses for you and your organisation, including the following accredited qualifications:
  • NEBOSH General Certificate
  • NEBOSH Fire and Risk Safety Management
  • IOSH Safety for Senior Executives
  • IOSH Managing Safely
  • IOSH Working Safely
  • CIEH Level 2 Award in Health and Safety in the Workplace
As well as bespoke health and safety training we offer training programmes such as:
  • IOSH SHE in the Property Industry
  • IOSH Managing Safely for Property Managers
We pride ourselves on working with you to create and deliver a unique health and safety training package that is designed around your business needs.

For more information contact Quantum Compliance: 
0800 644 4142

Quantum Compliance - providers of the following outsourced compliance  services:

  • Health and Safety
  • Fire Safety
  • Water Safety
  • Asbestos
  • Training
  • Environmental & Management Information Systems