As an employer, you have a legal responsibility to ensure you are providing a safe and healthy workplace for your employees and any visitors, which could include customers and suppliers, and that you provide the correct training, health and safety equipment and conduct effective risk assessments. There is also a range of socially expected health and safety responsibilities employers are recommended to implement within their workplace.
Three basic health and safety rights and responsibilities of any employer:
- As an employer, it is your responsibility to conduct an effective risk assessment of your workplace including any office space, machinery, hazardous chemicals and materials, electrical equipment, noise pollution and radiation. This assessment should support any required emergency plans and outline where and what precautionary measures have been taken.
- As an employer it is socially expected of you to provide a welcoming, calming, and sociable working facility where possible to support your employee’s mental wellbeing while at work.
- As an employer, it is your right to be provided support and health and safety consultations either directly through a safety representative that is elected by the workforce or union as well as your union and the HSE.
As an employee, your right to work in a safe and healthy environment is provided by law and is not something that can be taken away or changed by the organisation you work for. However, you also have a level of responsibility for your own health and safety at work and that of your co-workers.
Three basic health and safety rights and responsibilities of an employee:
- As an employee, it is your right to have all risks to yourself, including both mental and physical risk-controlled to the best of your employer’s ability, for example by provision of correct safety equipment, regular breaks, and annual leave.
- As an employee it is your responsibility to conduct yourself in a way that doesn’t cause risk to yourself, your co-workers, or the public – this includes co-operating with your employer to complete all required training and to report any illness or injury that have happened because of work or because of your external environment.
- As an employee it is your responsibility to report any concerns you may have to, in the first instance your employer, followed by your union/employee representative and then to the HSE (Health and safety executive) if other avenues have failed to resolve the health and safety concern/problem.
The HSE can be contacted on 0300 003 1647 Mon-Fri 8:30 am – 5 pm and on Wednesdays from 10 am.