Employees' health and safety responsibilities

Employees' health and safety responsibilities

Employers have legal obligations to ensure that their facilities are safe and healthy places to work. As an employee, you are entitled to certain rights, and you are also responsible for taking care of both your own health and the health of your coworkers. This essay will walk you through these obligations, explaining what they are and how you may fulfill them.


Your legal rights

Your rights as an employee to work in an atmosphere that is both safe and healthy are guaranteed to you by law and, in most cases, your employer is not permitted to modify or eliminate these rights. These rights are prioritized in order of importance as follows:

to the greatest extent feasible, to have any potential dangers to your health and safety effectively managed.

unfettered access to any personal protection and safety equipment that may be required

to stop what you're doing and leave the area where you're working without fear of being reprimanded if you have legitimate concerns about your safety.

should communicate with your employer on any concerns that you may have regarding your health or safety

if your employer won't listen to your concerns, you have the right to contact the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) or your local government without fear of being penalized for doing so.

to take time off for breaks over the course of the working day

to take a break from one's job throughout the course of the working week

to get a Christmas stipend every year

Concerning health and safety: questions from the question and answer section

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Responsibilities of employers with regard to health and safety

Time spent working


Your obligations

Your most significant obligations as an employee are:

should take care of your own health and safety as much as is reasonable

If at all possible, you should not operate equipment while wearing jewelry or clothes that is too loose.

If you wear a headscarf or have long hair, you need to make sure that it is tucked away somewhere safe since it might become trapped in equipment.

to ensure that other people, including your coworkers and members of the general public, are not placed in danger as a result of your actions or inactions while at work and to use reasonable caution in this regard.

should work together with your employer to ensure that you get the appropriate training, that you comprehend, and that you abide by the health and safety regulations of the organization.

Do not tamper with or make inappropriate use of anything that has been supplied for your health, safety, or welfare.

It is possible that your employer may need to make adjustments to the way you operate if you report any injuries, strains, or illnesses that are a direct consequence of your employment.

should let your employer know if anything occurs that might potentially limit your capacity to work, such as getting pregnant or suffering an injury - Your employer may need to suspend you while they find a solution to the issue or problem since your employer has a legal obligation to ensure that your health and safety is protected, but in most cases, you will continue to be paid during this time.

If you have a job that requires you to drive or operate machinery, you have a duty to inform your employer if you take sleep medication; if you do, they have a duty to temporarily reassign you to a different job if they have one available for you to do. If you do not tell your employer, you run the risk of being fired.

Manual labor without risk

Occupational injuries and illnesses

Indefinite suspension from work pending a medical or health and safety investigation


Personal protective equipment

Personal protection equipment, sometimes known as PPE, is something that your company is obligated to supply for you at no cost. You are required to make proper use of information and adhere to the training and instructions that have been provided to you.

In some occupations, improper usage of personal protective equipment (PPE) may be grounds for disciplinary action or even termination from the position. However, you have the right to refuse to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) if doing so will put your safety in jeopardy, for example because it does not fit you well.

Your employer or the company's safety representative should be able to provide you with the appropriate measurement.

Sikhs who do not wear turbans are required to wear head protection, however Sikhs who do wear turbans have the legal right to refuse to wear head protection on the basis of their religious beliefs.

Responsibilities of employers with regard to health and safety


What steps you need to do in the event that you have worries

If you have issues about the health and safety of the workplace, the first person you should talk to about them is either your employer or your immediate superior. It is possible that your initial point of contact will be the safety representative, if you have one. It is possible that an employee representative, such as a representative from the trade union, will also be able to assist you in this matter.

At work, your employer should not subject you to risks that can be avoided, and if you have brought these risks to your employer's attention without receiving a response, you can call the freephone helpline offered by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland to get confidential information and advice.

In the event that nothing else works, you may try getting in contact with HSENI inspectors.

If you choose to pursue this course of action, your employer has no right to reprimand you or put you at a disadvantage in your employment as a consequence of your decision. Health and safety inspectors have the authority to enforce the law.

If you refused to work because of dangerous circumstances, for instance, and the employer did not pay you for that period or passed you up for promotion because of it, it is an example of unfair treatment.

How to find a solution to an issue at work

The act of exposing misconduct in the workplace by blowing the whistle.

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