ARCHIVE: Eggs and poultry: Health and safety legislation

Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974

There is a substantial amount of legislation regarding health and safety associated with the work activity involved with poultry production and processing. This legislation comes under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and its associated regulations, which place duties on the employer, on the self-employed and on the employee. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is responsible for enforcing health and safety legislation.

Implementing Authority: Health and Safety Executive

Source of Further Information: Health and Safety Executive and ADAS.

Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

These Regulations try to set out a framework for managing health and safety in the workplace. In particular they place a duty on the employer to identify hazards their employees or others may face arising from the work being done. This identification is to be done formally and the hazards evaluated via a risk assessment process and recorded.

Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998

Employers have a duty to provide work equipment which is suitable for the task, safe to use and is regularly checked and maintained. The definition of work equipment is broad and could include equipment animals would come into contact with in the poultry house, such as feeding and drinking equipment, carrying crates and modules and include all hand tools used by the staff. Records need to be maintained of the equipment in terms of maintenance and repairs.

Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1999

There is a duty on employers to assess the risks to their employees from the hazardous substances used or created in the course of their work. Importantly, the employer is also required to assess the risks to anyone else who might be affected by their activities, either on-site or in the locality. These assessments are aimed at justifying the continued use of a substance, which is slightly different to the risk assessments under the Management Regulations. The first principle of COSHH is to ask whether a substance needs to be used in the first place and could a safer substance be found. Control measures come lower down the "hierarchy of control" and the provision of personal protective equipment is a last resort.

Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992

Employers must undertake a "suitable and sufficient" assessment of the risks to their staff in the manual handling operations in their regular work. This would cover all tasks which involve pushing, pulling, lifting, lowering, twisting or reaching. This will include stock handling.

Noise at Work Regulations 1989

Employers are required to take measures to reduce noise in their workplace, especially if it rises above 85 dB(A) and more actively where it rises above 90 dB(A). At this level ear protection must be provided and worn. Assessments must be done.

Page last modified: 21 July 2009
Page published: 21 July 2009