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Revised guidance to protect the health, safety and welfare of workers

18 November 2013

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published new help for employers on how to protect the health, safety and welfare of their workers.

Following consultation, HSE has reviewed and updated the Workplace Regulations Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) (L24) to make it easier for employers, building owners, landlords and managing agents to understand and meet their legal obligations.

The ACOP was one of several identified for review and revision, consolidation or withdrawal in line with a recommendation by Professor Ragnar Löfstedt in his report Reclaiming health and safety for all.

The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 cover a wide range of health, safety and welfare issues and apply to most workplaces except for those involving work on construction sites, those who work in or on a ship and those who work below ground at a mine. Legal responsibilities to protect workers’ health and safety are not altered by any changes to the ACOP.

HSE spokesman, Chris Rowe, said: “Across HSE we are working hard to ensure that employers have access to good quality advice which makes clear what they need to do to protect workers. 

“The revised ACOP has not only been updated, it will help employers understand the regulatory requirements on key issues such as temperature, cleanliness, workstations and seating, toilets and washing facilities.”

The review of and subsequent revision to the Workplace ACOP was subject to public consultation and the changes were agreed by both the HSE Board and the minister of state for responsibility for health and safety.


Notes to editors

To view the revised publication visit the HSE website at:

  1. Please note: This version of the press release replaces an earlier one, which contained drafting errors.
  2. Professor Ragnar Löfstedt’s review of health and safety legislation is available online at  
  3. An ACOP provides practical guidance on complying with the general duties of the Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) or the requirements of goal-setting regulations. ACOPs are not law but do have a special legal status; if the advice in ACOP material is followed in relevant circumstances dutyholders can be confident they are complying with the law. 
  4. Revisions from the previous edition (published in 1992) include: simplifying the language to clarify what dutyholders must do to comply with the Workplace Regulations; updating the ACOP to include the provisions of the Miscellaneous Amendment Regs 2002; improving guidance and referring to the most up-to-date and relevant standards for advice; and removing out-of-date duties and requirements that are superseded by newer legislation.
  5. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.

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