European Six Pack: The ‘Bare Essentials’ of Health and Safety

Whilst every company has a duty of care under Health and Safety Law, the extent to which your company’s responsibility goes depends on a number of things.

For example, if your company is less than 5 people you are technically not required by law to have a written health and safety policy. However, this does not exclude you from having health and safety systems in place, and in the event of an incident or accident, you will need to be able to prove that you carried out what you claim to have done in line with Health and Safety Law.

This is good practice for most work activities that are considered a risk, such as:

  • Chemicals – you should have a COSHH Assessment, which is more often than not written down
  • Working at a computer screen – even with less than 5 staff members (the Health & Safety de minimus for a written policy), if people are working at computers for a long period, you will need a DSE Assessment. It would also be beneficial to record the instruction, information and training given to staff formally, in the case of a medical ailment or incident resulting from a faulty or outdated DSE.

So, by law, what is required?

European Legislation have set six Health and Safety Regulations that apply to ALL companies, more commonly known as the European ‘six pack’. These six regulations apply to all businesses and set the standard for Health and Safety in the workplace.

The European union flag

They are:

  • MHSWR – The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations
  • MHO – Manual Handling Operations Regulations
  • DSE – Display Screen Equipment Regulations
  • WHSW – Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations
  • PUWER – Provision and use of Work Equipment Regulations
  • PPE – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations

To make sure you have your basic Health and Safety covered for your business, the European six pack is the ideal checklist to adhere to. Check that you’re up to date and work smart so that you don’t have any regrets later!


For further information on the European Six Pack and guidance on what affects you where, contact Active HSE for further information. | 07921 278986


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