Health and safety at work
Updated 25 September 2019
The Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law 1989
*If you click on any of the links, you will be taken to more information in guides.
Words you may need to know
Statutory requirement or duty - this is something under the law that needs to be done ( or not done )
Legislation - this means the law
Reasonably practicable - this is something that it is possible to do
Premises - Buildings / work areas
Prohibition notices - stop notices
Substances – liquids / gels etc
Protective equipment – gloves , hard hats, kick boards etc
Enforced - applied
General statutory requirements
The law says that everyone who has a need to be in a workplace is responsible for making sure that the workplace is safe. The Health and Safety Inspectorate is based at Customer and Local Services and is responsible for making sure that people are doing what the law says and they also prosecute if the law is being broken. See www.gov.je/Industry/HealthSafetyWork/HSI/Pages/default.aspx
The employer has a legal duty to make sure as far as is reasonably practicable that the law is being followed in:
- Making sure that equipment and materials are looked after and safe
- Materials and substances are moved and stored safely
- Employees are given information and instruction on how to use equipment and items safely
- The workplace is safe and comfortable
- Any public coming into the workplace are safe
- If five or more employees work in the business, that a health and safety statement is prepared and given to them so they know what happens and what to do if there is a problem
- The law does not apply to anyone working in a private home
Under the law, Employees have to take care of themselves or others, by supporting safe working and using any protective equipment provided.
The self-employed have to think about themselves and others in carrying out their work.
Manufacturers, designers, suppliers duties
There is a duty to make sure that so far as is reasonably practicable, anything being made is designed and put together so that it is safe. This is set out in Article 7 of the law and is monitored by the Health & Safety Inspectorate.
For general guidance on Health and Safety in the work place see: Health And Safety General Guide
Premises / Temperature etc
Details of exact requirements under the law are on pages 9, 10 and 11 of the Guide.
See page 13 of the Guide.
The law does not specially mention carrying workers in vehicles, see page 14 of the Guide.
The law sets a limit of 85decibels (B)A . If noise is above this level, then hearing protection should be made available, see page 18.
Flammable liquids, gases, protective equipment and building work.
See pages 20 - 26
There is no legal need to report accidents at work. The employer should keep an Accident Book to record any accident or injury to employees or the public. The Health & Safety Inspectors can be asked to give advice, or carry out official enquiries into serious accidents.
You can contact the Health & Safety Inspectorate on 447300.
Any accident, whether at work or in public, can be made known to the inspectors who will advise whether or not the incident is something they can look into.
Reports which are prepared by the inspectors after carrying out their investigations are only given to solicitors or advocates who are acting for the employers or employees. Therefore employees who intend to make a compensation claim for loss or injury should take legal advice, either through legal aid, or a specialist lawyer, see 4.37.3. If you wish to claim compensation, the claim must start within three years of the accident, or when the disease was known to you.
Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Law 1973
All employers must have what is called liability insurance which covers any claims which employees might bring after being injured or made ill at work.
Enforcement of the law
The law is enforced by the Health and Safety Inspectorate at Customer and Local Services.
The inspectors spend most of their time giving advice on the law, but they have legal powers to visit any workplace at any reasonable time without giving any notice. They can give out prohibition notices which means you have to stop working, or make improvements, on the spot. There is a right of appeal against such a notice.
Health and safety problems not specially covered
The Restrictions on Smoking (Workplaces) (Jersey) Regulations 2006 came into force on the 2nd January 2007. Smoking is not allowed in most work places and public places. This includes works' vans and cars.
Failure to obey with the Law is a criminal offence. Individuals can be fined a fixed penalty of up to £5,000 for smoking in non-smoking premises. The manager or person in charge of any non-smoking premises can also be fined a fixed penalty of up to £5,000.
The law is enforced by Environmental Health Officers.