Advice for workers
- All workers get the same protection under British health and safety law whether they are working here legally or not.
- Your employer has to protect your health, safety and welfare.
- Every worker has the right to a workplace where the risks to health and safety are properly controlled.
- You have a right to know who employs you. If you don't know - ask.
- There are some things you have to do under GB health and safety law.
What your employer must do
- Tell you about any risks to your health and safety connected with your job.
- Display a certificate showing they have Employers` Liability Compulsory Insurance.
Information and training
- Give you the information, instruction and training you need to work safely and make sure you have understood it - it doesn't have to be in English.
- Make sure you can understand any safety signs in your workplace.
- Make sure you can always speak to an experienced supervisor and that you can understand each other.
Equipment and clothing
- Not allow you to drive or operate any machinery unless you have been properly trained.
- Make sure any equipment you need to use is suitable and properly looked after.
- If needed, give you (free) protective equipment or clothing, which should be warm and/or waterproof if you have to work outside.
- Make sure there are adequate toilet and washing facilities you can use, and clean drinking water.
- Make sure you can get emergency first aid.
- Keep a record of any injuries, ill health or dangerous occurrences and report them to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Women and young people
- Consider any risks to women of child-bearing age, particularly if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Consider the needs of workers under 18 years old.
What you must do as an employee
- Make sure what you do at work does not put you or other people at risk.
- Help your employer to reduce health and safety risks in the workplace.
- Use any work equipment in the way that you were trained.
- Use properly anything supplied for your health and safety.
You should also let your employer know (in writing) if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have given birth within the past six months.
What to do if you are concerned about your health and safety
- Talk to your employer, manager or supervisor.
- Talk to your safety representative if there is one.
If you still think you or other workers are at risk, contact HSE. You can speak to HSE confidentially and without giving your name.
Under British law, you have other basic rights such as limits on how long you have to work, time off, rest breaks and paid annual leave. See useful contacts for workers.
HSE has produced a pocket card aimed at overseas workers:
This provides basic and essential information on your rights and responsibilities under UK health and safety legislation - the information applies to all industries.
A number of our publications have also been translated into languages other than English. These are available from the publications in other languages section.