MHSW Key Takeaways


Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999: Key Takeaways

While at work, employees can be exposed to a range of health and safety hazards that have the potential to cause serious injury or death. For this reason, there are several pieces of health and safety designed to protect workers, including the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.

Another one of these pieces of legislation is the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, which places several duties on employers and employees while in the workplace. In this article, we will explore these regulations in detail and outline some of its requirements.

Regulation 3

This regulation is significant, and requires employers to carry out a 'suitable and sufficient' assessment of the risks that employees may experience while at work. This risk assessment must also consider the risks that those who are not employed by them, but may still be affected by their work.

There are no fixed rules that affect how a risk assessment should be completed. However, they should:

  • Identify the hazards present, including those associated with non-routine operations and activities.
  • Identify who may be harmed by the hazard and how. When doing so, special attention should be paid to other workers, members of the public, and people who are at risk (such as new and expectant mothers).
  • Evaluate the risk that the identified hazards pose. This will be affected by the likelihood of the hazard causing harm, the potential severity of the harm, and the number of people that could be affected by the hazard. When evaluating a hazard, employers must also consider what can be done to reduce the risk it poses.
  • Record the significant findings of the risk assessment. This is a legal requirement for employers with five or more employees, but is strongly recommended for employers of all sizes.
  • Regularly review and revise the assessment as required.

Regulation 4

This regulation requires employers to implement the necessary measures required to control the hazards identified in their risk assessment. The hierarchy of control is a useful tool that can be used to identify control measures and assess their effectiveness:

  1. Eliminate the hazard.
  2. Substitute the hazard.
  3. Use engineering controls.
  4. Use safe systems of work.
  5. Use personal protective equipment (PPE).

To find out more about risk assessments, and the hierarchy of control, consider taking our Risk Assessment training course.

Regulation 5

Regulation 5 requires employers to have effective arrangements in place to plan, organise, control monitor and review the control measures it has in place. It also requires them to record these arrangements if they have five or more employees.

This regulation is a little complex, but many of its requirements are covered in detail in our IOSH Managing Safely course.

Regulation 6

Under certain circumstances, employees must be provided with health surveillance in order to detect any diseases or health conditions as early as possible. This is required for those who carry out certain work activities, such as those involving hazardous substances.

Regulation 7

This regulation requires employers to appoint at least one competent person to assist them with health and safety measures, such as completing risk assessments, implementing control measures, and complying with health and safety legislation.

Regulation 8

Regulation 8 of the MHSW Regulations requires employers to establish procedures that can be followed in the event of 'serious and imminent' danger. These procedures must contain information on how an employee will be informed of the danger they are in, how they can protect themselves from it, how they can stop their work and reach safety, and what they need to do to avoid coming into contact with the danger again once they have reached safety.

As well as establishing these procedures, this regulation requires an employer to communicate the procedures to all employees, and nominate the people who will be responsible for carrying them out.

Regulation 9

This regulation requires employers to arrange any necessary contacts with external services. In practice, this means that they need to establish procedures on what to do when certain external services are required, such as the police, fire service or other emergency services, and who is responsible for contacting them.

These procedures should be communicated to all employees once in place to ensure that they know how to act in the event of an emergency.

Regulation 10

Regulation 10 requires employers to provide employees with a range of health and safety information, including:

  • The findings of any relevant risk assessments.
  • The measures they have in place to control the risks identified.
  • The procedures that must be followed in the event of danger (those created to comply with regulation 8).

Regulation 13

This requires an employer to consider the capabilities of its employees when assigning tasks, and ensure that they are provided with any necessary health and safety training and instruction.

This training must be provided during working hours, and be repeated after a set time, or when the risks that they may experience change.

Regulation 14

Regulation 14 places several duties on employees to take care of their own health. Specifically, it requires them to use any equipment that they are provided with, including safety equipment, in accordance with the training and instruction that their employer has provided.

It also requires them to inform their employer of anything they notice that poses a health and safety risk to themselves or those around them.


We offer several courses that explore how to manage health and safety at work, including our IOSH Managing Safely and our Level 3 Workplace Health and Safety courses. To find out more about them, use the links below: