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Scope and application of section 3 HSWA

HSWA section 3 places general duties on employers and the self-employed to conduct their undertakings in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons other than themselves or their employees are not exposed to risks to their health or safety.

For section 3 to apply:

HSWA section 3 does not apply to:

Where a work activity has finished we are sometimes asked to intervene - e.g. where people have experienced illness after a building such as a school or private house has been insulated with urea-formaldehyde foam, or where the standard of plumbing or electrical work in domestic premises has been inadequate. Generally, we will not get involved in what may be essentially contractual or civil disputes except in cases where death or serious injury has occurred and initial enquiries, or information from other sources, indicate that a breach of section 3 HSWA was the probable cause or significant contributory factor. In such cases:

Other provisions that place duties in respect of non employees include regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, regulation 3 of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (as amended), and regulation 4 of the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations 1999.

Updated 2012-10-08