Common Law Assignment 3 – Sakeena Moid Nooruddin2)
Protect people other than those at work against the risks to their health andsafety arising from work activities.
Control the keeping and use of explosives or highly flammable or otherwisedangerous substances, and generally prevent people from unlawfully having or using substances and
Control the release into the atmosphere of noxious or offensive substancesfrom premises to be prescribed by regulations.To meet these objectives, duties have been laid upon all, from employers, employees,the self-employed, those in control of premises, etc. to members of the public. Theduties are expressed in general terms so that they apply to all types of work activityand situations, and they emphasize the principles of safety responsibility and safeworking.Some of the duties imposed by the HSW Act and related legislation are absoluteduties and must be complied with but many are qualified by the words "so far as isreasonably practicable" or "so far as is practicable". These expressions are not definedin the Act itself but have acquired meanings through interpretations handed down inthe courts. To carry out a duty "so far as is reasonably practicable" means that thedegree of risk in a particular activity or environment can be balanced against the time,trouble, cost and physical difficulty of taking measures to avoid the risk. The greater the risk, the more likely it is that it is reasonable to make great effort to reduce thatrisk. However, if a disproportionate cost in terms of time, money, etc. is required toremove a small risk, then it would not be reasonable expenditure. It is important toremember, though, that the size or financial positions of the business, etc. are nottaken into account when judging what is reasonable."
So far as is practicable
" implies a stricter standard. It usually refers to what istechnically possible at the current time and the time, cost and trouble involved incarrying out the duty cannot be taken into account.
Duties of employers to their employees
All employers have a general duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, thehealth, safety and welfare at work of all their employees, wherever the work is carriedout, i.e. on their own or on others' premises. More particularly, this includes
The provision and maintenance of machinery, equipment and other plant andsystems of work that are, as far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risk to health.
Arrangements for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and absenceof risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances.