Health and safety at work is highly important. As part of ensuring that their employees are kept safe and aren’t exposed to any unnecessary hazards that could affect their health, all employers within the UK have a set amount of responsibilities that they’re expected to meet. Vice versa, employees are also expected, of course, to meet certain criteria.
Employers are required by law to:
Evaluate the job you’ll be carrying out, and to analyse carefully the risks that could naturally occur by virtue of the role you are fulfilling. They are then expected to decide what precautions must be taken in order to minimise the chance of an accident occurring.
They are also required to explain to you, in a manner that you fully understand, how these risks are to be controlled whilst you’re working for them, and who will be responsible for ensuring that this is the case.
Employers are also required to consult and work with both you and your health and safety representatives to ensure that everyone in the workplace is protected from harm.
It is a legal requirement that employers both provide you with health and safety training to enable you to do the job, and also provide you with any necessary equipment and protective clothing that you require. They are also required to ensure this equipment is well looked after and maintained.
Another legal requirement that employers have is to provide toilets, washing facilities and drinking water, as well as first-aid facilities to help in the event of any accidents.
One of the most important obligations that they have in terms of accidents is that any major injuries and fatalities are reported to the Health and Safety Executive’s Incident Contact Centre which can be reached on 0845 300 9923. Other injuries, diseases and dangerous incidents are also required to be reported to the HSE via the website.
Insurance is another legal obligation that employers have, as it means that the company and their employees are fully covered in case of illness or accidents. They are required to display a hard or electronic copy of their current insurance certificate so that it can be easily read by employees.
Finally, it is the obligation of employers to work with other employers and contractors that are sharing the workplace to ensure that their health and safety is also protected.
Employees, meanwhile, are expected to:
Follow the training that they’ve received from their employers when using any items with which they have been provided by the employers.
It is also required of them that they take all reasonable care to ensure that both their colleagues and themselves are kept as safe as possible whilst in the workplace.
It is considered essential that the employee works alongside the employer to ensure that between them, all eventualities are covered with regard to their safety. This combination of the employer providing the training and necessary equipment, and the co-operation and willingness of the employee to learn, is essential in ensuring that the workplace remains a safe place to be.
Finally, the employee is expected to voice any concerns they may have regarding the health and safety situation in their workplace.
Date Published: September 27, 2013
Author: David Brown