Your health and safety responsibilities

Every time I deliver a training session, I am reminded of how little employees know about their health and safety responsibilities and what they should expect from their employers. It’s not common sense and it’s not rocket science either but if you don’t tell people, they will never know. So here’s a little outline of what is expected from employers and employees.

– You need to have a policy in place especially is you have 5 or more employees.
– You need to have insurance and it must be displayed where it can be easily seen and read. You need insurance incase someone is ill or injured as a result of your work activities.
– You need to carry out risk assessments and make the contents of these assessments easily accessible to relevant parties. Especially if you have employees exposed to hazards, you really should be providing information to them not keeping it away in a nice file.
– You need to provide a safe work environment, safe equipment and safe systems of work. You also need to provide adequate first aid facilities
– You need to provide protective equipment (PPE) especially if your risk assessment has identified the need for one. It shouldn’t be just any PPE, it should be the one identified in your risk assessment. Your employees are not responsible for providing PPE.
– You need to provide training, information and supervision to your employees. Your employees shouldn’t pay for this. It is your responsibility to assess what their training needs are. Read this articles
– Care about you employees health, safety and wellbeing. As employers it is your moral duty to.

– I never fail to tell employees that they have a moral obligation to care for others. As “human beings”, we naturally should care about how our actions affect other people.
– Attend the training provided by your employers. If you feel you need training in any aspect of your job, you should be discussing this with your line manager possibly during supervision or as soon as you can.
– Report any concerns you may have. If there is a fault with something, a procedure or equipment, stop using it and report it immediately. You shouldn’t be using faulty equipment or working without protective equipment.
– Do not interfere with safety arrangements. Don’t cut corners. You need to abide by all your company’s policies and procedures. Sometimes you may have feel you do not have enough time to carry out all your tasks and might be tempted to rush but don’t. Unsafe acts can leads to accidents.

So that’s the basics and a good start ;). This is not meant to replace training but rather to give you basic knowledge about your health and safety responsibilities


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