This question is quite a generic one as in its broadest sense health and safety affects everyone in some way or another. The introduction of health and safety legislation in many countries has been done to protect different groups of people from being killed, injured or suffering health problems as a result of certain activities or the actions/inactions of others. More on these various groups can be found below.
The most likely group to be have their health put at risk in some way, generally speaking, are those individuals actually performing the task or action. Whether it is working with a hazardous substance, using a tool or piece of machinery, operating in a dangerous area such as a confined space, undertaking a task without proper health and safety training, or working with defective or missing protective equipment/clothing, that person or group of individuals directly responsible for the task can soon find themselves caught up in a serious accident.
Many health and safety accidents take place in the workplace for the reasons mentioned above, but it is not just those performing the actions that can find themselves injured or killed. Accidents such as fires, explosions and chemical/poisonous gas leaks can all affect those workers present on site who may not have been responsible for carrying out the action but are caught up in its consequences. It is for this reason that employees should not only take responsibility for their own actions with regards to looking after their own safety, but also need to avoid causing a situation which jeopardises the health and wellbeing of their work colleagues too.
In the same way that large-scale incidents can put other workers on site not responsible for the occurrence at risk, so too can those accidents affect any members of the public who happen to be visiting the premises or living/working nearby. Therefore the managers and directors, along with the employees themselves, not only have a responsibility for safeguarding the health and safety of everyone on site who is an employee of the business, but also to prevent harm coming to members of the public as well.
Health and safety is an issue which affects everyone, in both professional working lives and in the home. This means that people of all ages will benefit from some form of education in health and safety whether it be a short overview session or a comprehensive accredited qualification. The level of safety training provided must be carefully matched with the potential risks and the type of job a person is doing. For more information, seek out a competent health and safety professional.