Hasawa Employees Duties

Written by ilana waters
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Hasawa Employees Duties
Failure to comply with the Hasawa law can result in penalties. (worker image by Vasiliy Koval from Fotolia.com)

The Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974 -- Hasawa -- was a Parliamentary Act of the United Kingdom that increased regulations for workplace health, safety and accident prevention. The law lists duties of employers, employees, workplace managers, independent contractors and suppliers while all are on the job. In extreme cases, both fines and terms of imprisonment can be imposed on those who fail to comply with the regulations.

Reasonable Care

According to the act, employees must "take reasonable care for the health and safety of (themselves) and other persons who may be affected by (their) acts or omissions at work. This means cooperating with mandated safety protocol and procedures, including accommodating colleagues with special needs that require additional measures for them to perform their jobs. An example might be allowing a disabled employee additional time or resources to complete her work, or providing her with the items necessary to do so, even if providing these items is not specifically listed in the job description of the non-handicapped employee. It may also mean scheduling work tasks, meetings and other functions at a time and place convenient for the disabled employee.


Employees are forbidden from intentionally mistreating or misusing work items meant to benefit the welfare of employees. This includes confiscating the items for their own personal use, for purposes not related to the job or task at hand, or operating them in ways that are not needed to perform their intended functions. One example could be using recording devices meant to enhance the work function of a hard-of-hearing co-worker for reasons outside the workplace. Another example might be confiscating equipment meant to assist a physically-handicapped co-worker and bring it home for the use of the non-handicapped worker, a friend or family member, or even with the intention of putting it up for sale.


A special force of inspectors was set up to monitor whether the mandates are fulfilled. Employees are expected to cooperate fully, and comply with, any necessary attempts at enforcement or correction. Failure to do so in a way that meets the inspector's expectations entitles the inspector to issue a prohibition notice. This notices demands that the party in question cease the illegal actions. If there's no improvement in behaviour, civil and criminal penalties can result for the employee. It is also within the discretion of the individual employer to terminate any employee found guilty of failure to comply with an inspector's orders, although they may only do so once the results of any pending legal investigations are complete.

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