Please explain the text in bold:

7 General duties of employees at work.

It shall be the duty of every employee while at work—

(a) to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work; and

(b) as regards any duty or requirement imposed on his employer or any other person by or under any of the relevant statutory provisions, to co-operate with him so far as is necessary to enable that duty or requirement to be performed or complied with.

(Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974)

  • What exactly are you having problems with? I'm sure you understand lots of the sentence in question, despite it being worded in a fairly complex way.
    – JMB
    Oct 4, 2015 at 8:39
  • @JMB What does to be performed or complied with. mean? which is with which?
    – user37421
    Oct 4, 2015 at 9:36

3 Answers 3


If the question is seeking legal advice then I think you need to look elsewhere. I am not a lawyer.

There are laws and other regulations etc about working conditions, workplaces, handling of equipment and goods and so on. (Think of food handling, or being careful with dangerous chemicals.) These rules mean the employer must do some things and must not do others. The text in bold says the employee must cooperate with the employer to ensure that the rules are not broken.

In answer to a comment seeking clarity on the words "or any other person" from the bold text in the question. I believe them to refer to people working for the regulatory or enforcement authorities, people whose job is to check that a business (and thus an employer and their employees) are following the rules. Basically if a police officer or a food inspector or an official inspector from some other relevant field visits visits, you must cooperate with them. I think you are allowed to check that they have the correct permissions and documentation before helping them.

Whilst I have said "business", "employer" and "employee" I think that in the UK the various rules extend much wider than just businesses. For example, the priest at a church probably has to obey all the rules that apply to business premises, to ensure a safe environment for the congregation.

  • Thanks, but I want to make sure I get this correctly, the text means that the employee has to co-operate with his employer (or any other person) in his duties when necessary? and I want to be more sure about the text that I've just written between the brackets in bold
    – user37421
    Oct 4, 2015 at 9:13
  • @AhmedElsawy answer updated.
    – AdrianHHH
    Oct 4, 2015 at 11:06

In this case, the plain English meaning is:

Every employee at work must co-operate with their employer and other people to ensure that they (their employer or those other people) comply with their duties and requirements under that Part and any other relevant health and safety regulations, and the existing statutory provisions.

The definition of the relevant statutory provisions can be found here:

“the relevant statutory provisions” means—

(a) the provisions of this Part and of any health and safety regulations F15. . .; and
(b) the existing statutory provisions;


Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.

(I'd like to add another variant of the same paragraph, which can also be found on the web; I believe that this paraphrase is easier to understand for the OP because the idea is stated straightforwardly, which may help the OP to understand "which is with which", as he asked in his comment.)

Section 7 (a-b) it shall be the duty of every employee while at work: [...]
(b) To co-operate with his employer or any other person, so far as is necessary, to enable his employer or other person to perform or comply with any requirement or duty imposed under a relevant statutory provision.

(From: Health and Safety Click - Health and Safety at Work Act 1974; emphasis mine)

The same text (which could be the original text before the changes to the legislation, probably by reg. 5(1)) can be found in some other books; for example, Preparing and Using Lathes for Turning Operations, with a note:

(Note: These duties have been extended by duties contained in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.)

Hope this helps a little.

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