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Workplace Health and Safety – Whose Responsibility Is It?

Business owners and employers are legally responsible for their workers' health, safety, and welfare, also any visitors to their premises, such as customers, suppliers, and the general public. In addition to these duties, there are also regulations to deal with particular hazards and also specific regulatory demands for industries where hazards are high.

The Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations 1992 states: employers have a legal duty “to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health, safety, and welfare at work of employees.”

Although employers are mainly responsible, it is the duty of everyone to take care of their own health and safety and others who may be affected by their workplace actions.

The new standard ISO 45001 recognises the need for shared responsibility between employers and employees. Wherever you work, health and safety should be a part of your business strategy, with management and staff playing their part, and more focus on risk management.

Employers Responsibilities

If you run or manage any business, you need to ensure employees, and anyone who visits your premises, are protected from anything that may cause harm and control any risks to health or injury that could occur in the workplace. Employers’ main responsibilities are:

· Display a Health and Safety Poster – which is a legal requirement;

· Give employees information about health and safety issues in the workplace and how they are protected;

· Create a Health and Safety Policy to ensure staff are aware of the health and safety procedures which are in place;

· Include Fire Safety and First Aid in the Health and Safety Policy;

· Implement safety procedures by providing and maintaining equipment or PPE required to keep workers safe;

· Carry out Risk Assessments in the workplace to determine the procedures in place are adequate and sufficient to protect people;

· Identify who needs protecting from hazards, including members of staff, contractors, part-time workers, and people with specific requirements;

· Provide training to help staff understand the risks they may face in their roles;

· Provide a First Aid kit and First Aiders who have received practical training.

Employees Responsibilities

Employees have a legal requirement to help the workplace remain safe, with the responsibility to take care of their own health and safety and that of others. If employees follow safety instructions, they can help maintain a safe working environment and ensure the business fulfills its compliance and legal duties. Employees main responsibilities are:

· Comply with safety procedures, including anything put in place to protect their safety such as wearing PPE, protective barriers or utilising equipment if their work requires it;

· Understand the risks associated with their roles and carry out work safely to minimise any risks;

· Follow health and safety training and work in a way that does not create hazards or increased risks to themselves or others;

· Report any failings in safety procedures to their supervisor’s immediate; such as broken equipment or faulty PPE;

· Be proactive and help keep hazards at a minimum, e.g., keeping walkways clear of obstructions and good housekeeping.

Every step of the way, Embark Consulting is here to support your business with all the assistance you need to ensure your staff, business, and visitors remain safe and compliant at all times.

Contact us anytime to speak to one of our competent, qualified consultants.


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