The responsibility for health and safety in the workplace is shared between the individual worker, their employer, and any third party involved in the work. It’s important to remember that there is no such thing as a “safe” job – all jobs have risks associated with them, but the key is to make sure you’re aware of them so you can take steps to minimize them.
Why is it the employer’s responsibility?
You might be surprised to learn that employers are responsible for health and safety in the workplace. This is because they are the ones who have control over the working environment. The employer has to make sure that all employees have a safe place to work, free from any hazards.
If you think about it, there are many things that can go wrong when you’re at work. You could get injured by equipment like ladders or machinery. You could get sick from chemicals in your workplace or suffer a heart attack from stress at work.
If you’re an employee, you may not be able to do anything about these risks on your own. That’s why it’s important for companies to take charge and make sure everyone has a safe place to work in.
Employer responsibilities include:
- undertaking risk assessments that identify hazards and assess the risks they pose to employees;
- providing suitable protective equipment such as eye protection or ear defenders where needed;
- ensuring that work activities do not expose workers to hazards such as noise, dust or chemicals;
- ensuring that equipment is properly maintained;
- providing information about the risks associated with their work activities.
Employees also have a duty to follow these rules and procedures
It is their responsibility to work safely by following the instructions given by their employer, reporting any hazards they see or hear about, carrying out any tasks they are asked to do in a safe manner, wearing protective clothing where necessary and notifying their manager if they think something isn’t safe.
What can you do as an employee?
As an employee, you are responsible for your own health and safety at work. This means that if you are injured at work, it is your responsibility to report the incident to your employer. The same applies if you witness someone being injured or a hazard in the workplace.
As an employee, you also have rights and responsibilities regarding health and safety in the workplace.
As an employee, you can do the following:
– Take advantage of training opportunities. Training is available to help you understand your company’s health and safety policies and how they apply to you. If there are no training opportunities, ask your supervisor if one can be arranged.
– Ask questions. If something doesn’t make sense, ask questions until it does. You may need to speak with more than one person in order to get the answers you need. If a question isn’t answered satisfactorily, go up the chain of command until it is answered correctly or until someone agrees that it doesn’t need to be answered at all.
– Be careful about what you say and do when other people are around. What’s said about work or about other employees in front of others can end up being used against them if there is a problem. For example, if someone asks how long it took for an employee to complete a task and you say “only five minutes,” they might then tell their boss that this person accomplishes tasks too quickly and should be replaced by another worker who takes longer on their assignments but has more experience doing so.
What can you do as an employer or decision-maker?
You must ensure that your workplace is safe for your workers and that they follow all health and safety regulations when they are at work. You also have a duty to provide information, instruction and training to your employees about their rights and responsibilities in relation to health and safety in the workplace.
If you are the owner or manager of a business, you may be personally liable for any injuries caused by negligence on the part of your employees or others who were acting on your behalf (for example, contractors).
As an employer or decision-maker you have a responsibility to ensure that everyone who works for you understands their rights and responsibilities under health and safety law. You should also be able to explain how these rights affect their work activities. This includes:
- how they can make complaints about any hazards or risks in the workplace;
- how they can access health and safety information;
- they should complete a safety course with the trusted Zokal Safety in Australia which is facilitated and recommended by employers
- how they can raise issues about health and safety concerns directly with managers;
- who they should contact if they think there is a problem with health or safety at work.
The answer to this question depends on who you ask. The employer is responsible for the health and safety of their employees, but it’s also up to them as individuals to make sure that they’re doing everything they can. Employees must report any hazards they discover in their workplace and HSOs carry out inspections and enforce health and safety legislation. Consultants must be qualified, competent and trustworthy so they can provide accurate advice on how best implement safe practices at work.