Reasonably practicable

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Understanding "Reasonably Practicable" in Health and Safety


If you've undertaken any Health and Safety courses, you've likely encountered the phrase "so far as is reasonably practicable." In this video, we'll delve into the meaning of this phrase in the context of Health and Safety at Work.

Assessing Risks

When conducting a risk assessment, the severity and likelihood of an incident, along with the number of people exposed, are crucial considerations. These factors are weighed against the costs, both in terms of time and finances, required to implement control measures.

Application of "Reasonably Practicable"

For instance, if there's a high-risk scenario affecting numerous individuals, it's deemed reasonable for the employer to invest significant resources in risk reduction measures. Conversely, if the risk is minimal, it wouldn't be practical for the employer to incur substantial expenses for mitigation.

Varied Interpretations

While it may seem straightforward to determine what actions are reasonably practicable, there are no fixed rules. Each business situation differs, and what's feasible for one may not be for another. Disputes over this matter are often resolved in court.

Objective Decision-Making

It's crucial to note that the judgement on what's reasonably practicable is objective, focusing on health risks rather than the employer's size or financial status.