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what are your employees’ responsibilities at work?

You, as the owner of a small company, are likely aware of the significance that health and safety play in the workplace. And allowing yourself to get complacent may be a costly error. According to a research published by the Health and Safety Executive, the cost of accidents and ill health caused by present working conditions was expected to be a whopping £15 billion in 2017/18.

Keeping this in mind, it is essential to have a clear understanding of who is accountable for what in terms of maintaining health and safety in the workplace and adhering to your health and safety policy, provided that you have such a policy. According to the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974 (HASAWA), it is primarily the duty of the employer to ensure that the working environment is safe for all employees. This covers anybody who is now present on the premises, whether they workers, guests, or members of the general public.

However, workers are also responsible for some aspects of the business, and it is essential that you and the rest of your team are aware of these responsibilities.


In a word, it is the responsibility of your staff members to:

  • Taking the necessary precautions to ensure their own health and safety
  • working in concert with you, their employer, and attentively carrying out your directives
  • not putting the safety of other people at risk
  • Please let us know about any potential dangers, illnesses, or injuries.

Now, let's break this down into more depth and look at just what your workers need to be doing to ensure not only their own health and safety but also the health and safety of everyone else in the workplace.


The duties that each of your workers has with regard to health and safety

Take adequate precautions to ensure their own health and safety.

When they are on the job, your workers should be vigilant about protecting their own health and safety, and they should abstain from engaging in any behavior that would put them in danger. There is no "one size fits all" answer for how this should be implemented; rather, it is strongly dependent on the nature of your employment and the daily dangers that come with it organically.

To prevent back problems, for instance, Jo, who works as an office administrator, will need to take extra precautions with electrical equipment and wires and ensure that she sits in the correct position at her desk. Alex, who works on a construction site, will need to ensure that he wears the additional protective clothing and equipment that is provided in order to reduce the likelihood of being injured.

You are going to need to do a risk assessment at your place of business in order to determine precisely what it is that your workers need to be doing in order to look after their own personal health and safety.


collaborate with their respective employers.

Your workers have a duty to adhere to any instructions about health and safety that you give them, and it is part of their job to obey any instructions that you provide them.

This requires them to go through any training that you send their way and ensure that it is completed in the correct manner. It also requires them to obey any rules and regulations that you establish for the organization.

For instance, if your company has a health and safety policy that states everyone with hair shorter than shoulder length is required to tie it up, then it is the obligation of your workers to ensure that they comply with this policy if it applies to them. The same principle applies to taking off any jewelry and making sure that all recommended safety gear is used.

Using HR software like Breathe, which includes a component that allows you quickly keep track of all the training you may be rolling out to your staff and ensures that you remain on top of it, is one way to guarantee that you are always prepared. Simply click here to get started with your free trial that lasts for 14 days.


Don't put other people in harm's way.

Your workers have a responsibility to watch out for their own health and safety in the workplace; but, they also have a duty to ensure that they are not putting the health and safety of anybody else in jeopardy.

Every worker is responsible for ensuring that they are using what they have learnt throughout their training and that they do not depart from this in order to guarantee that they are carrying out their responsibilities with regard to health and safety. This involves misusing equipment and protective clothes as well as taking unwarranted risks while on the job. If you get this wrong, there might be some unpleasant repercussions.


Please let us know if there is a problem.

Employees have a duty to report any hazards that they discover in the workplace to their superiors so that appropriate action may be taken to address the issue. For instance, if one of your workers discovers a loose wire in a plug socket near to their workstation, it is their duty to inform you about the problem as soon as possible.

This also applies to the health of your workers; they are obligated to inform you of anything that could interfere with their capacity to do their jobs if they want to keep their jobs. This might refer to a mental or physical sickness, an accident, or even pregnancy. Regardless of the circumstances, it is the obligation of the member of the staff to tell you of the situation in order for you to be in a position to make the appropriate changes for them or grant them time off.

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