Being Safe In The Workplace

Being safe at work is important

Safety in the workplace is something that is incredibly important and is something that every worker is entitled to, no matter what their job role is. Employers have a requirement to follow Health and Safety Law to ensure that workplaces are safe places, but it is also the job of every employee to help ensure their working environment is safe.

While health and safety may be something that people like to laugh about, it is in fact crucial to reduce the risk of any illnesses or injuries. A safe workplace will mean happy workers, and happy workers will in turn mean higher productivity for the employer.

What Do Employers Have To Do?

Employers are legally bound to be responsible for the health and safety of their employees according to the government under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. As such, there are specific rules that they have to follow, no matter how much they seem to inconvenience workers.

Risk assessments have to be undertaken to evaluate all the possible risks that could pose a problem to their employees due to the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. For example in a warehouse; fork lift trucks and lifting heavy items can be deemed risks that need they will need to look into. In an office, an assessment of an employee’s desk must be undertaken to ensure that they are ergonomically friendly.

Once the assessment has taken place then it is an employer’s duty to try to reduce the risk of any of the problems they find. Providing ergonomic equipment such as back rests, wrist rests, and more can help in the office whereas for the warehouse it could be providing high visibility jackets. It is also down to the employer to provide these free of charge to their employees; it is after all their responsibility and not the employees!

As well as this, there should always be first aid facilities that are adequate available just in case there is an unfortunate accident. To go along with this, health and safety training should also be provided.

Safety Is Not Just For Employers

While employers are required by law to take on the bulk of the work, there should also be a reasonable expectation on employees to help keep the workplace safe. This can include simply keeping areas tidy to prevent the risk of accidentally falling over to reporting any issues to make managers aware of things that need to be fixed.

This can include fire risks such as exposed wires or more generalised problems such as walkways being crowded with hazards. Keeping personal workplaces clean by using cleaning wipes or other products can help to reduce the chance of illness, particularly in areas where hotdesking is common.

As annoying as it may seem, safety is incredibly important and should not be ignored or laughed over. We’ve included some links to the Health and Safety Executive that both employers and employees may find useful.

Resources:

http://www.hse.gov.uk/workers/

http://www.hse.gov.uk/workers/employers.htm

http://www.hse.gov.uk/toolbox/workplace/facilities.htm

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Sarah Jubb
Sarah Jubb

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