It is important that workers are able to operate and act in a safe manner, free from harm, and without risk from the environment in which they work, or the tools and machinery that they may operate.

In the United Kingdom, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 lays down the general duties of employers, 'so far as is reasonably practicable' to protect the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees. This includes the provision of ‘safe plant and systems of work’, ‘safe methods for the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances’, ‘necessary information, instruction, training and supervision’, ‘a safe and well-maintained workplace, including safe access and egress’, and ‘a safe working environment with adequate welfare facilities’.

Duties are placed on employees to take reasonable care of their own Health & Hafety, and that of anyone who could be adversely affected by their 'acts or omissions at work' and to co-operate with their employer in steps to meet legal requirements.

The UK Health and Safety at Work Act also places duties on designers, manufacturers, importers and suppliers of articles for use at work, to ensure that items are safe for use and to supply necessary information about safe use and any testing results.

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