Is Workplace Health and Safety My Responsibility?

Health and safety is a huge deal for every business, no matter what industry they’re in. It’s a well-known fact that employers have a legal responsibility to provide a healthy and safe work environment for their employees, and can incur huge fines if health and safety measures and training aren’t put into place or followed.

However, It’s not simply just the responsibility of the employer; the employee also has a degree of responsibility for their own health and safety in the workplace, too.

So, what responsibilities do employees have?

Carpentry business owner cutting a plank of wood in workshop

Dressing Appropriately

As an employee, a person is responsible for ensuring their own health and safety in the workplace. This generally means abiding by health and safety policies which should be in place within the workplace, but it also includes some other responsibilities which are more common sense.

For example, if you are working with machinery, it is up to the employee to ensure that the clothing that they are wearing isn’t loose fitting as this can be a serious hazard should it enter the machinery. Although some companies may have a dress code in place for employees with regards to their role, it is up to the employees themselves to interpret what is acceptable and what isn’t should there be no standard dress code outlined.

Adequate Training

It is also the employee’s responsibility to work with their employer to ensure that they are receiving the proper training and certifications needed. If they don’t feel like they have been trained adequately or don’t fully understand what the legislation means, it is up to them to approach their managers and say that they feel this way.

Businessman presenting work safety concept, hazards, protections, health and regulations

By doing this, they will be able to be retrained and have the legislation explained to them in a way in which they will better understand it, reducing the risk of an accident occurring in the workplace as they will be aware of potential hazards and how to avoid them.

Reporting of Injuries or Accidents

If an employee is injured or spots a hazard in their workplace, then it is up to them to report it to their employer. This also includes bringing up any medical conditions which may affect their ability to do their job safely, such as becoming pregnant or sustaining an injury which makes their job hard to conduct safely.

Asian lift truck driver and foreman in storage

Employees are also responsible for keeping their co-workers and the public safe. Although they are mainly responsible for their own conduct in the workplace when it comes to health and safety, they should also ensure that their colleagues – and the general public if their job requires them to be in contact with them – are following the correct health and safety policies.

There are many other responsibilities that employees have with regards to health and safety in the workplace, and the NI Direct Government website has a great article which outlines all the responsibilities and rights that employees should know!

Health and safety should never be taken lightly – no matter what industry you work in. For more help and advice on health and safety issues in the workplace, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the experts here at AYB Law – we’ll be more than happy to help you in any way that we can.