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  • Rob Haywood

The Definitive Guide to Employer and Employee Health & Safety Responsibilities

The Definitive Guide to Employer and Employee Health & Safety Responsibilities


Here's The Safety Hub's comprehensive overview of the responsibilities of employers and employees about UK health and safety:


Employers:


  1. Primary Duty of Care: Employers have a primary duty of care to make sure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety, and welfare of all their employees at work. This responsibility extends to preventing accidents, injuries, and ill-health arising from work activities.

  2. Risk Assessments: Employers must conduct thorough risk assessments to identify and assess workplace hazards. These assessments should consider the nature of the work, the working environment, and the equipment used. Based on the risk assessments, employers are required to implement appropriate control measures to minimise or eliminate risks.

  3. Control Measures: Control measures are proactive actions or strategies implemented to reduce or eliminate the risk posed by hazards. The hierarchy of controls provides a framework for selecting control measures, prioritising those that eliminate or substitute hazards over those that control exposure through engineering or administrative means.

  4. Health and Safety Training: Employers must provide adequate health and safety training to all employees, ensuring they have the knowledge and skills needed to identify, assess, and manage hazards in their work areas. Training should be relevant to each employee's specific hazards and tasks.

  5. Safe Systems of Work: Employers must establish safe work systems, including clear work instructions, safe work procedures, and emergency procedures. These systems should provide detailed guidance on performing tasks safely and minimising the risk of accidents or injuries.

  6. Maintenance and Inspection: Employers must safely maintain the workplace, equipment, and machinery. They must also conduct inspections at regular intervals to identify and address potential hazards or defects. This includes checking for slip, trip, and fall hazards, electrical safety, and the proper functioning of safety equipment.

  7. Records and Reporting: Employers must maintain accurate records of health and safety incidents, accidents, and near misses. They must also investigate these incidents to identify the root causes and then to take actions to prevent recurrence.

Responsible team leader creates safe workplace and protects his employees. Corporate safety concept
Responsible team leader creates safe workplace and protects his employees. Corporate safety concept


Employees:


  1. Cooperation and Compliance: Employees must cooperate with their employers in ensuring their health and safety and that of others. This includes following safety rules, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), and reporting hazards to their supervisor.

  2. Identification and Reporting: Employees must identify and report any hazards they observe in the workplace to their supervisor or authorised person. Prompt reporting allows timely assessment and implementation of control measures to mitigate risks.

  3. PPE Use: Employees must use PPE correctly and follow the manufacturer's guidelines. Improper use of PPE may render it ineffective and increase the risk of injury or harm.

  4. Authorised Substances and Equipment: Employees must only use authorised substances and equipment assessed and deemed safe for their intended use. Using unauthorised substances or equipment increases the risk of accidents or health hazards.

  5. Rest Breaks: Employees should take appropriate rest breaks to avoid fatigue, which can impair their judgment, coordination, and reaction time, and thus increasing the risk of accidents.

  6. Immediate Exit from Unsafe Situations: Employees must leave any unsafe situation with a severe risk of injury or harm. This includes work areas with inadequate safety measures, malfunctioning equipment, or hazardous substances.

 

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