Summary of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992

The principal object of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 is to prevent harm to employees at work. To do this it imposes duties on, and promotes excellent health and safety management by, employers. It also provides for the making of regulations and codes of practice.

Employer's Duties

6.Employers to Ensure safety of Employees:

Every employer shall take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of employees while at work: and :In particular, you are required to take all practica­ble steps to:

provide and maintain a safe working environment;

Provide and maintain facilities for the safety and health of employees at work;

Ensure that machinery, plant and equipment in the place of work is designed, made, set up and maintained to be safe for use


For Employees

Ensure that employees are not exposed to hazards in the course of their work; and

Develop procedures for dealing with emergencies that may arise while employees are at work.


Employers to Involve Employees In The Development Of Safety And Health Procedures

Employers need to ensure that all employees have the opportunity to be fully involved in the devel­opment of procedures for the purpose of identify­ing hazards and dealing significant hazards or dealing with or reacting to emergencies and imminent dangers (section 14).

Training of Employees and the Safety of Others

The employer must ensure employees are either sufficiently experienced to do their work safely or supervised by an experienced person. In addition, the employee must be adequately trained in the safe use of equipment in the place of work, including protective clothing and equipment (section 13).

An employer is also responsible for health and safety of people who are not employees. An employer must take all practicable steps to ensure that an employee does not harm any other person

while at work, including members of the public or visitors to the place of work (section 15).

Employees’ Duties

If you are an employee, the Act gives you respon­sibility for your own safety and health while at work. You must also ensure that your actions do not harm anyone else.

Self-Employed People's Duties

Every self-employed person shall take all practica­ble steps to ensure that no action or inaction of the self-employed person while at work harms the self-employed person or any other person.

Accidents and Serious Harm: Records and Notification

The Act defines "accident" as an event that:·  Causes any person to be harmed; or· In different circumstances, might have caused any person to be harmed.This means that "accident" includes both near-misses and accidents that result in harm to a person or might have caused any person to be harmed.   Every employer is required to maintain a register of accidents and serious harm; and record par­ticulars relating to:
Every accident that harmed (or, as the case may be, might have harmed
Any employee at work; or
Any person in a place of work controlled by the employer; and

Every occurrence of serious harm to an employee at work, or as a result of any hazard to which the employee was exposed while at work, in the employment of the employer.

Where there occurs any serious harm or accident an employer must:

As soon as possible after its occurrence, notify the Department of Labour of the occurrence; and

Within 7 days of the occurrence, give the Department of Labour written notice, in the prescribed form, of the circumstances of the occur­rence.

The notification to the Department of Labour applies to

Every occurrence of serious harm to an employee at work, or the occurrence of serious harm as a result of any hazard to which the employee was exposed while at work, in the employment of the employer; and Accidents of a kind or description required by regulations.


Safety Manual - Electricity Industry (SM - EI) Part 3 Rules for Work on Equipment:


When using Ladders:

a.  The requirements of rule 2.1407 "Using Ladders" shall be complied with.

b.  In Live switchyards, the only types of ladders that shall be used are:

i.   fibreglass ladders (with fibreglass or metal rungs)

ii.  wooden ladders without wire reinforcing (with metal or wooden rungs)

iii. metal ladders no longer than 2m fully extended, if the asset owner approves

c.  In locations near live conductors, other than in live switchyards, precautions to be taken include:

i.  To prevent unauthorised persons climbing ladders, unattended ladders shall be removed from the poles, or action taken to ensure that they cannot be climbed.

ii.  When a ladder is being moved from pole to pole, it shall be lowered.


      When carrying or using any materials, tools, ladders or portable earths near live conductors, the utmost care shall be taken to maintain at least the minimum approach distances from the conductors. Ladders should be carried horizontally and in switchyards well below shoulder level.

      A safety observer shall be appointed where necessary.