Health and Safety

  The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA or sometimes HASAW) and the many regulations made under it apply to all work activities.

Since 1997 Police Services across the UK have been subject to Health and Safety Legislation in that the Police (Health and Safety) Act of that year regards Police Officers as employees.

A breach of any duties stipulated by the various health and safety regulations is a criminal act. HSWA imposes duties on employers and employees and is built on the philosophy that whomever creates the risk is responsible for managing the risk.

Under HSWA

Employers should

Ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and wellbeing at work of all their employees; Conduct their undertakings in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in their employ who may be affected are not thereby exposed to risks to their health and safety; Employees should take reasonable care of their own health and safety and of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work;

Co-operate by following any requirement imposed on them by their employer, for example to follow safe systems of work and to use personal protective equipment.

The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, stipulates that all Staff Association/ Trade Union Representatives are by default also Health & Safety Representatives. HSWA imposes a duty upon employers to consult (in good time) on all matters that affect the Health Safety and Wellbeing of its employees (Safety Representatives and Safety Committee Regulations 1977, The Health & Safety (Consultation with Employees) regulations 1996). South Wales Police Federation nominates each of its representative as a Health Safety and Wellbeing Representative.

Representatives in BCUs and other departments will ordinarily take the lead with regard to Health Safety and Wellbeing in those areas.

Their role is to consult with officers and meet with managers to discuss all issues that affect their Health Safety and Wellbeing. Representatives will meet quarterly with managers locally and discuss any issues that are affecting individuals and or departments and will often provide sensible solutions that preserve health ensure safety and are considerate to the wellbeing of employees.

Representatives have a legal right to access certain information and can legally conduct their own investigations where officers are injured or avert injury in a dangerous situation (near miss) to ascertain if any breaches of Health and Safety policies, procedures and legislation may have been the cause. Representatives can also conduct work based inspections, scrutinise risk assessments, and must be consulted by management before any new equipment is introduced and before any changes are made to working practices, shift patterns or buildings.

Please refer to the contact us page for details of your local safety reps.

HSW Articles


Stress Response – (The fight or flight response aka hyperarousal or acute stress response.) - A physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack or threat to survival. There are many factors that will cause a person stress, and some may impact more on certain individuals than they do on others - the STRESSORS. Read More

  PSU Boots

Uniform stores have recently been issuing "Magnum" boots to officers as part of their PSU kit. SWPF have been made aware of some issues with these particular brand of PSU boots. Some officers have stated that they are heavy and cumbersome especially when running in them and not particularly well fitting. Read More