Who is responsible for health and safety at work?
There is no questioning the significance of workplace health and safety; safeguarding the well-being of employees, guests, and clients should be a top concern for all companies.
Employee morale can be harmed, your brand’s reputation can be destroyed, and accidents at work and illnesses related to the job can cost your company a significant amount of money.
However, maintaining good health and safety can be time-consuming and demanding, and people frequently want to delegate it to someone else when it comes to selecting who should be in charge of it.
So who is really responsible for health and safety at work?
The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think.
The employer is, rightly, the one who bears the burden of ensuring all employees have the necessary training and equipment to carry out their jobs safely. They are responsible for setting best practices and establishing a workplace culture of responsibility and diligence.
Among some of the primary health and safety responsibilities that fall to the employer are:
communicating all relevant health and safety information in a clear and accessible way, carrying out risk assessments, ensuring they employ qualified and competent staff and contractors, and consulting their employees about health and safety practices and concerns.
By law, all employers are expected to follow HSE guidelines, keep records of all accidents and near-misses, and ensure that every reasonable precaution is taken to reduce hazards and mitigate risks.
But employers are not the only ones responsible for health and safety at work.
All employees, no matter their status or role within the company, are expected to use the tools and training provided to them to do their jobs safely. Likewise, if an employee sees a hazard, it is their responsibility to report it to the appropriate authority and, where practical, take steps to limit the risk of harm the hazard might cause. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that “workers have a duty to take care of their own Health and Safety and that of others who may be affected by your actions at work.”
Some of the responsibilities that also fall to employees are: keeping up to date with health and safety policies, implementing the health and safety policies of the workplace, and working with their employers to ensure best practices for their industry.
One of the easiest ways to ensure clear communication within the workplace is with Be-Safe’s Compliance Genie. This innovative Health and Safety App has been designed to provide businesses, employees and contractors with cloud-based, 24/7 access to health and safety software, through a laptop, tablet or mobile phone. This allows them to sign in and out – giving employers a record of onsite employees and contractors, carry out and access risk assessments, record incidents and manage them appropriately with access to procedures, and much more – all in real-time.