Whilst some people work for themselves (self-employed), many work for someone else. This is called their employer; they, of course, are employees. This has several advantages — employees have several rights that they can expect whilst they are at work. One of these rights is that their health, safety and welfare will be safeguarded by their employer.
If this does not happen and the employee is injured as a result of an accident that was not their fault, they may be able to claim compensation. This is money that you get from your employer (or from their insurance company) to compensate you for the injury and for any money that you have lost as a result of the injury. A claims provider like Accident Advice Helpline can help you to do this. Here are some employees’ rights at work.
Safe working environment
Employees have the right to work in an environment that is not damaging to their health. This includes:
- The fabric and materials of the environment;
- The air that employees breath;
- Changing and toilet facilities;
- Tools, machinery and equipment;
- Layout; and
Employers are required to assess all the risks that their employees face. This involves a careful assessment of the place where employees work, and of the tasks that they are required to perform. If a hazard (something that could cause harm) is identified, steps should be taken to protect the employee from that hazard. This is called minimising the risk. Some hazards can be completely removed.
Employees have the right to be provided with appropriate equipment for them to carry out their work safely. For example, if you are required to work at a height, you should be provided with scaffolding, a ladder or other equipment (e.g. a harness) so that you can work safely. The equipment must be suitable for all the jobs that you need to perform, and must be maintained and cleaned properly.
Training and supervision
Employers cannot just assume that an employee knows what to do. Training must be provided. This may include:
- Fire safety procedures;
- First aid procedures;
- Manual handling;
- Specific equipment and machinery; and
- Training in handling dangerous substances.
Personal protective equipment
Some dangerous tasks (e.g. those involving hazardous chemicals) just cannot be avoided, and some employees will have to carry them out. In these circumstances, employees must be provided with appropriate protective equipment, and this may include:
- Safety goggles;
- Ear defenders (ear plugs);
- Non-slip boots;
- Reenforced (steel toe cap) boots;
- Chain mail aprons;
- Arm guards;
- Leg guards; and
- Breathing apparatus.
If you have suffered an accident at work, call Accident Advice Helpline today on 0800 689 0500 to make a claim for personal injury compensation.
Date Published: 7th May 2013
Author: Sharon Parry