NEBOSH General Certificate

An In-Depth Guide to the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999″

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 – Your Guide


The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR) supplements the UK’s Health and Safety at Work Act. It’s a critical part of workplace health and safety legislation, establishing a comprehensive framework for safety.

Overview of the Regulations

The MHSWR mandates a proactive approach in managing workplace health and safety. It emphasises the importance of risk assessment, the implementation of effective safety control measures, and employee involvement in safety practices.

Detailed Employer Responsibilities (Regulation Sections)

Risk Assessment (Regulation 3): Employers must conduct thorough risk assessments to identify potential hazards, evaluating the likelihood and severity of these risks, and then implementing measures to mitigate them.

  • Example: A manufacturing plant conducts assessments focusing on machinery operation risks and installs safety guards and emergency stop buttons.

Principles of Prevention (Regulation 4): Employers need to apply specific principles to prevent risks, starting from eliminating risks to minimising risks through protective equipment.

  • Example: An office introduces ergonomic equipment and regular breaks to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.

Health and Safety Arrangements (Regulation 5): Employers are required to develop and maintain effective systems for managing health and safety risks, suitable for the nature and scale of their operations.

  • Example: A hotel chain establishes a centralised health and safety committee to oversee safety practices across locations.

Health Surveillance (Regulation 6): In situations with significant health risks, ongoing health surveillance is necessary to monitor employee well-being.

  • Example: A chemical research facility provides regular health check-ups for employees working with hazardous substances.

Health and Safety Assistance (Regulation 7): Employers should appoint competent persons, internally or externally, to provide expert health and safety advice and support.

  • Example: A construction company hires an external safety consultant for site audits and training sessions.

Employee Duties (Regulation 10)

Employees are obliged to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and that of others, complying with their employer’s safety instructions and reporting hazardous situations.

  • Example: Staff in a supermarket handle cleaning chemicals safely and report equipment malfunctions immediately.

Health and Safety Training (Regulation 13)

Adequate training is essential for employees to understand and manage the risks they face. This includes initial and ongoing training tailored to the specific hazards of the job.

  • Example: A restaurant implements continuous training on food safety, customer service safety protocols, and first aid.

FAQs with Regulation References

Q1: What are the main requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999?

Regular risk assessments, preventive measures based on the principles of prevention, establishing health and safety arrangements, providing health surveillance, and seeking assistance from competent persons.

  • Example: A logistics company introduces advanced driver training and vehicle safety checks.

Q2: How do these regulations impact small businesses?

Small businesses must comply, focusing on simpler, straightforward measures due to their scale.

  • Example: A small boutique implements a basic risk assessment covering customer safety and emergency response.

Q3: What are the penalties for non-compliance with these regulations?

Non-compliance can lead to legal actions, including fines and imprisonment, depending on the breach’s nature and severity.

  • Example: A workshop faced legal action for failing to provide adequate protective equipment.

Q4: How often should risk assessments be conducted in the workplace?

Risk assessments should be ongoing and revisited with significant workplace changes.

  • Example: A gym updates its risk assessment for new fitness equipment.

Q5: Are there specific training requirements under these regulations?

Training needs depend on the workplace nature and risks involved.

  • Example: Specialised training at a chemical plant.


The MHSWR 1999 is vital for ensuring safety and health in workplaces. Applying these regulations creates safer work environments.

Further Reading and Resources

For comprehensive information and detailed guidelines, refer to the following resources:

Our HQ

Unit 3D, The Enterprise Centre, Fitzgilbert Court, Castledown Business Park, Ludgershall, Andover, SP119FA

Sign up for updates and our newsletter

Keep up to date with our upcoming courses, company information, advice and special offers