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Risk Assessment - Legal Duties on Employers

Risk Assessment – Legal Duties on Employers

UK Health and Safety legislation (the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (“The Regulations”)) requires that a suitable and sufficient risk assessment takes place before an employee departs abroad for work. The law firm CMS Cameron McKenna note that while the Regulations only have territorial scope, the fact that the required risk assessment (discussed under Regulation 3) has to be carried out before the employee leaves the UK, means that failure to undertake it could result in the Regulations being breached in the UK [1]. The Regulations provide that:

3.—(1) Every employer shall make a suitable and sufficient assessment of—

(a) the risks to the health and safety of his employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work;


Penalties for breach are criminal [2]. In addition to criminal sanctions an employee can bring a civil claim in the UK courts and they would have no problem founding jurisdiction, if the principal employing entity was based in the UK, or their employment contract provided for this [3].


[1] CMS Cameron McKenna (2013) Duty of care owed by companies in the UK to its overseas or travelling workforce. Available at:
[2] Ibid., p2
[3] Ibid., p2

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27 September 2013