Who is Responsible for Health & Safety in the Workplace?

Fiona Burns

Fiona Burns

blog-publish-date

17 Aug 2018

blog-read-duration

Employers often wish to distance themselves from the responsibility for health & safety.

Accidents and incidents in the workplace can not only be devastating to the well-being and morale of your workforce, but they can also result in costly claims and even costlier reputational damage.

Workplace safety is mainly the responsibility of the employer. It's their duty to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their staff.

While some worksites come with greater risks than others, even the safest workplaces need all staff to help manage risks.

However, there's some truth to the notion that everyone is responsible for health & safety in their workplace.

All of your staff must be aware of and follow health & safety procedures. Employing a manager can help your business to write comprehensive policies, but hiring someone for this role would not absolve you of your duties.

All breaches of health & safety law, including both accidents and other incidents, come back to you.

What legislation is in place to enforce health & safety?

One of the main laws affecting businesses is the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

It covers many issues that affect workplaces, such as:

  • Temperature.
  • Lighting.
  • Cleanliness.
  • Seating.
  • Sanitary conveniences/washing facilities.
  • Workstations.

For full details on what the regulations cover, please view the full HSE document.

What can I do to guarantee workplace safety?

Awareness of risks and your policies and procedures is critical to making sure you have a safe workplace.

In addition, conduct risk assessments often and take action to reduce risks as you discover them. Simple acts like unblocking a fire exit, or updating respiratory protective equipment, can have a life-saving effect.

Make sure you have safety signs in your workplace. Give all staff training. It can include:

  • What a workplace hazard might be, and the risks one might pose.
  • Emergency procedures.
  • How to deal with a hazard, if necessary.

Now, some job roles will come with specific risks. So for example, a construction worker might need the training to work at heights.

Above all else, have a constant dialogue with your staff about the importance of health & safety.

Make sure staff know they can come to you if they have an issue. Always investigate any concerns, and where necessary, make adjustments to the workplace or staff job duties.

So for example, if a room has a higher fire risk, make sure it has enough of the correct fire extinguishers.

Talk to an expert

For advice on H&S in your workplace, including health & safety training, and health & safety consultancy, speak to one of Croner's many trained experts on 01455 858 132.

About the Author

Fiona Burns

Fiona Burns has practical experience in Health & Safety and Risk Management having worked for major insurer prior to joining Croner.

She has gained extensive helpline experience offering competent advice and timely support to large number of clients, in various industries and at all levels.  Completed the NEBOSH General Certificate, also passed NEBOSH Environmental Diploma Unit A, (IOSH Managing Environmental responsibilities). NEBOSH Fire and Risk Management Certificate, FPA Advance Fire Training, NCRQ Diploma – Distinction currently completing IPD and volunteering for Community project in Atherstone also as a Dementia support worker with CWPT.

linkedin

Fiona Burns

Free to Download Employer Resources

  • Bribery Risk Assessment Form

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Bribery Risk Assessment Form

    Read more
  • The Good Work Plan 2020

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    The Good Work Plan 2020

    Read more
  • Expert View - Non-Compliant Contract

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Expert View - Non-Compliant Contract

    Read more
  • BLOG

    Top Five Cases of 2019

    2019 has been a turbulent year for employment law. Here are the top 5 key cases...

    Read more
  • BLOG

    Case Law Update: Gray v Mulberry Comp...

    The Court of Appeal has upheld earlier decisions that an employee’s belief in th...

    Read more
  • BLOG

    Mythbuster – Political Burnout Won’t ...

    The UK is getting ready for its third general election in four years. Hanging ov...

    Read more
  • REC

    CASE STUDY

    REC

    The events are brilliant. Amanda Chadwick, one of the expert speakers, is a very

    Read more
  • Grantley Hall

    CASE STUDY

    Grantley Hall

    Whenever we have a sensitive issue - sometimes involving individuals with protec

    Read more
  • Lady Heyes Holiday Park

    CASE STUDY

    Lady Heyes Holiday Park

    Overall it's definitely had a noticeable impact on the business and how I perfor

    Read more

Do you have any questions?

Get a free callback from one of our regional experts today