Today we are going to be discussing the topic of who is responsible for workplace health and safety. Health and safety at work are very important - it is why there are laws in place to enforce that all employees are kept safe at all times. It is not just employees that need to be kept safe, it is customers, visitors, temporary workers and contractors too, all those that are on the business premises should be kept safe from hazards and risks, this should be a priority for any business. Ensuring good health and safety at all times is a hugely important task. This is why we are here to give you this guide to who is in charge of health and safety in the workplace.
Responsibilities of Employers
It is not just the responsibility of just one person to keep everyone safe. Everyone who works in any kind of environment has the duty and responsibility to keep everyone safe by doing their bit, to keep their area tidy to minimise the risk of any hazards - the responsibility is shared between all members of staff on all levels.
Although everyone does have their duty and their part to play, employers will hold more responsibility to ensure that their staff are safe to look after their wellbeing. Employers should carry out a number of duties to meet the correct health and safety standards and appoint a competent person.
Carry Out Risk Assessments
Employers need to carry out the five steps to risk assessments to inspect the workplace and identify health and safety hazards and the risks they could cause and act accordingly depending on their risks.
Speak to Staff About Health and Safety
Employers are required to consult their staff about health and safety issues so they are aware of all potential risks. Employees can have useful feedback about the hazards they face on a day-to-day basis.
If contractors are employed they need to make sure that they have the right skills and knowledge required to carry out work safely and efficiently.
Provide Health and Safety Training
It is important for all staff to understand health and safety training so they can act on risks, to do this they need a certain level of understanding of health and safety knowledge.
Provide Correct Safety Equipment and PPE
It is the responsibility of the employers to provide necessary safety equipment, such as first aid kits and personal protective equipment needed to reduce risks in the workplace.
Employers need to ensure that they communicate with their employees throughout the business to ensure everyone is on the same page and is aware of existing policies.
Health and Safety Poster
A health and safety poster must be displayed with important information about health and safety responsibilities at all times.
The Employees' Health and Safety Responsibilities
Employees need to be on board with the policies at all times. Employee responsibilities include some of the following health and safety duties. Without the involvement of employees on board with health and safety, it is the employers that would be able to effectively implement safety measures.
Follow Health and Safety Training
The employer should provide the relevant health and safety training but it is the responsibility of the employees to follow the training - this includes from first aid to equipment used to manual handling. Once training is complete staff are required to apply this knowledge to their workplace to guarantee workplace safety.
Report Safety Risks
The employees that use the workplace to carry out potentially risky activities every day are the ones that are more likely to spot hazards and failings in safety procedures. Employees are required to report any failings to a senior member of staff.
Keep Up To Date
Staff should ensure they digest any new or updated information on health and safety information.
Employers can take control of their workplace health and safety by becoming a member of the SSIP, with CHAS, SafeContractor, SMAS or other relevant accreditations. Find out more about CHAS, SMAS, SafeContractor and Constructionline by clicking here.
In summary, it's down to more than the employer to ensure all the correct measures are in place. An employer does have more responsibility to ensure it is enforced and carried out correctly, but as for everyone else, the whole workforce will do their bit to make sure the correct health and safety measures are maintained and employees should report any new risks or hazards come up.