Legally, employers hold most of the responsibility of the Health and Safety in the workplace. The protection of everyone who visits the workplace is the duty of the employer. Employers are expected to take all reasonable steps to achieve this. Effectively, this means that the employer is responsible for controlling the risks of injury.
In contrast, the safety responsibilities in the workplace are not as simple as they may seem. Continue reading to find out who holds what responsibilities in the workplace.
The Health and Safety Responsibilities of Employers
It is not surprising that employers are the ones who have the most responsibility for health and safety in the workplace. However, it does not all fall onto them. Conversely, all employers are legally required to ensure the protection of anyone who visits the workplace. This includes customers, workers, and all types of visitors.
Here is an overview of the responsibilities that employers have for health and safety in the workplace:
Risk Assessments – A risk assessment is the first step in ensuring that the workplace is safe for all. All employers must create risk assessments. This means they must inspect the workplace to identify all hazards and the associated risks. Employers must also evaluate the best way to protect everyone and how to implement safety measures.
Provide Training – Employers must train all their staff on health and safety protocols. They should also provide advice on how the staff members are best to combat any hazards they may face daily. If the employer feels that it is necessary. They should also offer routine re-training to their members of staff. This will make sure that the workers are up to date with their training and are still knowledgeable about their duties.
Write Health and Safety Policies – For every business that has 5 or more members of staff, they must by law write Health and Safety Policies. With Health and Safety Policies written. This ensures the effective communication of the company’s procedures.
Display Safety Posters – Every employer must display the approved Health and Safety poster in the workplace. It must be displayed somewhere where every staff member can see it when they need to. If this is not possible, the employer should provide a leaflet that contains the same information. This leaflet should then be available to all staff members. It is vital that all members of staff can see this poster. Otherwise, they may not be able to get the answers that they require.
Provide Safety Equipment – The responsibility of providing all types of safety equipment falls onto the employer. They must provide personal protective equipment and safety equipment free of charge. In addition to this, they must also provide first aid kits to the workplace.
The Health and Safety Responsibilities of Employees
While most of the responsibility falls onto the employer, all workers have a duty of taking care of themselves. As well as other staff members who may be affected by their actions.
Here is a quick overview of the responsibilities of employees:
Follow Their Training – All employers must provide training to their staff. Whether or not the employees follow the training, is the duty of the employee. Once employees have been trained, they are then required to apply everything they learnt to their roles. In addition to this, all employees must follow all the outlined safety precautions before taking on any task in the workplace.
Keep Updated – While the employer must provide their workers with information. It is the employees’ responsibility to ensure that they are kept up to date on all Health and Safety information. Workers should make sure that they are taking their time to read the information, so understand how to implement it in the workplace. When there is a change to the policy, workers should make sure that they take time to read it.
Report Risks – If an employee notices that there is a risk in the workplace, they should report this to their employer. If this is not possible, a senior staff member should be told about the issue. For instance, if a worker notices that there is a faulty piece of equipment or that some safety precautions are not effective, this should be reported immediately.
Further Employee Safety Responsibilities
The HSWA state that all employees must be responsible for taking reasonable care for:
• Their own health and safety
• The health and safety of others who would be put at risk
• To not interfere or misuse safety equipment
• To fully co-operate on health and safety matters with their employer
• All workers can be prosecuted if their employer feels it is necessary
So, to sum this up, everyone is responsible for safety in the workplace to some degree. When it comes to health and safety, it is not as straightforward as it may sound. As health and safety is a big task, the duties fall onto everyone to do their share. Taking on all responsibilities associated with health and safety is not only too much to ask, but also impossible.
However, the responsibilities are not equal. Every staff member will have a different role to play in health and safety protocols. The difference in their duty of safety in the workplace will reflect their job role for the company. For example, the employer will naturally hold most of the responsibility. Employers are ultimately responsible and will be held accountable for the general and overall safety of their employees. In addition to this, they are also responsible for ensuring the protection of everyone who visits the workplace. As well as making sure that all contractors follow the health and safety rules.
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