Health and Safety and the Self-employed Person
The self-employed person can be found in many different sectors ranging from consultants in office to cleaners, carers and construction workers.
Office for National Statistics on the self –employed reveal that:
- Self-employment is higher than at any point over the past 40 years
Depending on the work activity, the inherent hazards in any work undertaken by a self-employed person can range from negligible, low to very high. Changes have been made to the health and safety obligations for self-employed persons, following recommendations by Professor Ragnar E Löfstedt in his report Reclaiming health and safety for all: An independent review of health and safety legislation, written 4 years ago in November 2011.
Professor Löfstedt recommended exempting the self-employed person from health and safety laws where their work activities pose no potential risk of harm to others. His recommendation has now been implemented with effect from 1st October 2015 by the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (General Duties of Self-Employed Persons) (Prescribed Undertakings) Regulations 2015.
Health and safety law still applies if the self-employed person’s work poses a potential risk of harm to others. These include the following activities:
- Agriculture (including forestry)
If a self-employed person employs other workers then health and safety laws still apply.
Further information can be found on the HSE website.
The articles published on this website, current at the date of publication, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your own circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.