An explanation of each article of the Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law, 1989.
The Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law, 1989, (HSW Law) sets out the framework used by the States of Jersey, the Minister for Social Security and the Health and Safety Inspectorate, for dealing with health and safety issues at work.
Some particular industries or topics are further regulated by regulations or approved codes of practice (ACoPs). These have generally been introduced where it is recognised that there is a need for prescriptive regulation to assist the duty holders in managing the specific risks.
The law is split into seven parts each of which contains a number of articles dealing with a specific aspect of the law.
Part 1: Interpretation and exclusion
Article 1 sets out the definitions of terms used within the law.
Article 2 sets out the exclusion of domestic servants employed in private households from the provisions of the law.
Part 2: General duties
Article 3 sets out the duty of an employer to their employees. The article requires every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all the employer's employees.
Article 3(2) goes on to give examples of the extent of this duty which includes:
- the provision and maintenance of safe plant and safe systems of work
- the identification and assessment of risks to employees’ health and safety
- arrangements for ensuring that articles and substances are used, handled, stored and transported safely
- the provision of adequate information, instruction, training and supervision
- the provision of a safe means of access to and from any place of work
- the provision of a working environment with sufficient facilities and arrangements for ensuring the welfare of employees
Article 3(3) requires all employers with 5 or more employees to prepare a written health and safety policy document and to bring this, and any revision, to the attention of the employer's employees.
The policy must include the identification and assessment of significant risks and how they are to be addressed.
The policy must also be prepared in a language or languages which can be understood by all employees.
Article 4 requires employees to take reasonable care of themselves and the health and safety of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work.
Employees must also co-operate with their employer or any other person who may have legal responsibilities under the law, for example, by adopting safe systems of work, wearing personal protective equipment provided and such like.
Article 5 requires employers to work in a manner which does not affect the health and safety of others such as the general public and contractors.
The self-employed are required to work in a manner which does not adversely affect their own health and safety or that of others.
Article 6 requires that any person in control of premises or parts of premises which are used as a place of work by individuals other than their employees, for example contractors, must ensure that those areas are safe for those persons to work in.
Article 7 sets out the duties on designers, manufacturers, importers and suppliers of various items including articles which are used at work or any article of fairground equipment. These persons are required to ensure that health and safety issues are considered at the initial stages and continued through to the end user.
Article 8 requires that no person shall intentionally or recklessly interfere with, or misuse, anything provided in the interests of health, safety or welfare as required by the law.
Part 3: Health and safety regulations and approved codes of practice
Article 9 enables the States to make regulations under the law, the purpose of which is to set out the legal requirements relating to particular hazards or to specific industries where hazards are particularly high.
There are a number of health and safety regulations which are available to download.
Health and safety at work - laws and regulations
Article 10 enables the Minister to make or approve codes of practice which offer practical guidance on how to meet the legal requirements set out in the law.
Article 11 sets out how an ACoP can be used in criminal proceedings to illustrate the standards required to comply with the law. If the relevant provisions of the code are not followed, it is the responsibility of the duty holder to prove that they have complied with the law in some other way.
A number of codes of practice have been approved under the law and are available to download.
Health and safety at work - approved codes of practice
Part 4: Enforcement
Article 12 sets out the powers of inspectors who have been appointed by the Minister.
Article 13 contains information on improvement notices.
Article 14 contains information on prohibition notices.
Article 15 contains further information on the serving of both improvement and prohibition notices.
Article 16 sets out the right to appeal against the serving of an improvement or prohibition notice.
Article 17 sets out the requirement for the States to provide for the establishment of an appeal tribunal to determine appeals made under HSW Law.
Part 5: Enquiries, obtaining and disclosure of information
Article 18 sets out the power of the Minister to direct investigations and enquiries for the purposes of the law.
Article 19 enables the Minister to serve a notice requiring any information to be provided to him which is needed for his purposes under the law.
Article 20 sets out the restrictions on disclosure of information obtained during the course of enquiries carried out under the law.
Part 6: Provisions as to offences
Article 21 sets out the offences under the law.
Article 22 enables a person to be acquitted of an offence if they are able to show that the offence was due to an act or default of some other person. If they are acquitted for this reason, then the other person may be charged and convicted of the offence.
Article 23 enables both a body corporate and an officer of that body corporate, such as a director, manager, secretary or similar to be proceeded against should it be identified that the offence was committed with the consent or connivance of the officer of the body corporate, or be attributable to any neglect on their behalf.
Article 24 sets out the powers of the Court to order the cause of an offence to be remedied.
Part 7: Miscellaneous
Article 25 sets out that any entry in a register, which is required to be made under a relevant statutory provision, shall be admissible as evidence. Where this entry has not been made, it can be admitted as evidence to show that the statutory provision has not been met.
Article 26 sets out the application of the law in respect of civil liability.
Article 27 sets out the right of persons to appeal in respect of decisions made by the Minister in connection with licensing provisions in the relevant statutory provisions.
Article 28 sets out the means by which improvement and prohibition notices can be sent or served to the duty holder.
Article 29 includes confirmation that the statutory provisions made under the previous law covering the safety of workers continue to stay in force as if they were made under this law.
The full text of the law is available online at the Jersey Legal Information Board website.
Health and safety at work law on the Jersey Law website