Health & Safety: and the Self Employed


Photo for highlighting Legislation for Health & Safety

The legislation

This factsheet briefly provides an outline of some of the basic legal Health and Safety requirements imposed upon the Self Employed. This is just an indication of some of the legislation that may apply to you, and further information should be sought:

Health & Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974, section 3

places a duty upon any self-employed person to carry out their business so as to ensure so far as reasonably practicable that they do not risk their own health and safety. This means that you must have regard to the level of “danger” which any of your activities may cause, and take steps to reduce that danger to an acceptable level – the more serious the danger, the greater time, effort and money you are expected to expend.

Management of Health & Safety at Work Reg. 1999

require every self employed person to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to their own health and safety whilst at work, and the risks to the health and safety others not in their employment arising out of or in connection with their work. Apart from yourself, consider who else could be harmed by your activities: Visitors – clients, suppliers, couriers, contractors.
Take members of the public into account, if they could be hurt by your work activities.
If you share a workplace with another business, you will need to consider how your work affects others and how their work affects you. Talk to each other and work together to make sure controls are in place.

Electricity at Work Reg. 1989

impose an absolute duty to comply with the Regulations for any electrical system or equipment over which you have control, you will be responsible for making sure it is appropriate for the nature of work for which it was intended and ensuring it is maintained in a safe condition, etc.

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Reg. 1999 (COSHH)

apply to self employed persons, except the sections concerning monitoring; information and training provision and health surveillance. Hazardous substances must be used, handled, stored and disposed of safely.

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases & Dangerous Occurrences Reg. 1995 (RIDDOR)

Certain injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences due to work must be notified to the local health and safety enforcing authority (see It is your responsibility to notify HSE of any that happen to you or to others on your premises.

Provided by Holges Consulting – Feb 2012.
Produced by Holges Consulting – Guidence only. Further professional advice should be sought.