Health and safety at work is important in order to ensure that everyone who is affected by the business, whether as an employee or a member of the public, is not harmed by any work activities. Everyone within a business has a duty to ensure that health and safety rules are observed and that no individual is put at risk by poor procedures or lack of attention to safety. Improving health and safety at work is not the responsibility of a single individual, but requires the co-operation of everyone within a business. Creating an atmosphere in which employees and management work together to solve problems will improve health and safety.
Employees can help to improve health and safety at work by reporting immediately to their employer anything that they consider could pose a danger. If, for example, an employee discovers that the guard on a piece of machinery is broken, this should be reported immediately. If there is a spill which makes a floor slippery, this should also be reported as many injuries in the workplace are a result of slips or trips.
Employers should also be informed if there is any reason why an employee cannot do his or her job safely. Employees are responsible for their own safety and should make sure that they understand the health and safety policy of the company, and abide by its rules. Employees should work in an environment in which they feel able to make suggestions on how procedures could be improved, or to discuss issues of health and safety for the benefit of all employees.
Employers can help to improve safety in the workplace by establishing the correct behaviour and ensuring that their employees know how they are expected to behave in the workplace. Training sessions on health and safety issues should be organised and the results analysed to ensure that they are achieving their goal. These may be online courses or training sessions held at the workplace.
Ensuring that all employees who have to operate machinery know how to do so safely, and whether they need to wear protective clothing, is important. An employer should also take seriously employees’ concerns about safety or complaints about illnesses, stress or injuries. If early signs of problems are ignored, the problem could become much more serious and permanent damage could be sustained by the employee.
For an employer, employing a health and safety officer can help to improve health and safety at work. The health and safety officer will be focused on keeping up to date with the latest regulations and ensuring that there are proper procedures in place for health and safety. Health and safety officers can also benchmark health and safety at work, enabling the company to improve its management of health and safety, and reduce costs. Having someone to assist with planning, training and implementing health and safety at work can relieve the burden on the employer, enabling them to focus on their core business.
Accident Advice Helpline has helped thousands of people with work-related injuries or illnesses, so if you have a work-related health and safety issue then why not contact one of our friendly advisers?
Date Published: October 1, 2013
Author: David Brown