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Information, instruction and training

Introduction and legal duties



There is no legal definition of 'information', 'instruction' or 'training' but in practice:

  • information means providing factual material which tells people about risks and precautions;
  • instruction means telling people what they should do; and
  • training means helping them learn how to do it, but can include giving information and instruction.


The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSW Act) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (the Management Regulations) place general duties on employers and others to provide information, instruction and training in order to ensure health and safety.


To employees

(a) To provide relevant and comprehensible information about:

  •  risks to health and safety
  •  preventive and protective measures
  •  emergency/evacuation procedures
  •  health and safety law (via a poster or leaflet)
  •  their responsibilities to comply with site rules
  •  how to use work equipment and personal protective equipment

(b) To provide adequate health and safety training on induction and as required (including refresher training where appropriate).

To other employees

Where workplaces are shared, each employer must take all reasonable steps to inform the other employers concerned of the risks to their employees' health and safety arising from work activities as part of his/her business. (Reg. 11 of the 'Management' Regulations 1999)
To non-employees

To provide information, instruction and training where necessary for health and safety (general requirement of Section 3 of HSW Act or more specific requirement of legislation (e.g. COSHH Regs 1999)) so far as is reasonably practicable.

General guidance

General Health and Safety advice is available from hse.gov.uk, specifically information for small businesses or on training.