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Workplace health and safety is an important part of safeguarding your staff. As the employer, you have certain responsibilities towards your team. Furthermore, your employees have specific responsibilities towards each other that will become very important for health and safety.

It’s important to understand the roles and responsibilities of each member of your business within the workplace because this will heavily impact the way your business operates and the kind of policies you will need to construct. After all, workplace health and safety is your legal responsibility.

Who is Legally Responsible For Health and Safety at Work?

When it comes to health and safety in the workplace, it is important to understand that both employer and employee are responsible.

Naturally, the different responsibilities that each party has will depend upon what kind of role they have in the company. Employers will have different responsibilities for health and safety. Generally speaking, the employer is responsible for designing most of the health and safety policies that go into effect, but it is the workers that have a responsibility to enforce them. Think of it like a code of conduct. The employer has to design it, but it is up to the staff to follow it.

Employer’s Health and Safety Responsibilities

Employers have specific health and safety responsibilities which they need to make sure they follow. This includes things like making the workplace is safe, preventing any risks to health, making sure that both the work environment and machinery are safe to use, making safe working practices that are both implemented and followed, making sure that materials are stored, handled, and used in a safe way, and providing adequate first-aid facilities. The way in which you choose to follow these responsibilities is up to you, as long as it complies with regulations.

Employee Health and Safety Responsibilities

Employees have certain health and safety regulations within the boundaries of their roles. Employees need to make sure that they have attended the relevant training sessions to receive information about health and safety and that they are actively striving to work to any health and safety policies devised by their employer. They also have a responsibility to report any health and safety concerns that they encounter. Employees should be trained on their duties from the first day they work in the business.

Health and Safety Executive Roles and Responsibilities

It is important to understand that the health and safety executive serves as the foremost authority in the UK for businesses regarding health and safety in the workplace.

They have many responsibilities, including raising awareness in the workplace with regards to health and safety, helping to operate commissioning and licensing activities in industries where major hazards are a problem, investigating and inspecting as they see fit, taking action to prevent harm to workers, and holding anybody who breaks the law accountable. Businesses have a legal responsibility to work with this authority whenever they so request.

Workplace Health and Safety Enforcement

As part of their responsibility toward workplace health and safety, the health and safety executive can freely enforce sanctions for any party found to be in violation of these laws. This can include things like an unlimited fine and possible prison time for employers who are found to be breaking the rules.

As part of the enforcement process, the health and safety executive can order businesses to make certain changes in order to comply with regulations and may use their authority to force businesses to do so. Disobeying these requests will ultimately result in sanctions.

What to Do to Guarantee Workplace Safety

There are certain things that you have to do to make sure that your workplace is safe.

You need to make sure that the building is structurally integral and maintained regularly, put any major problems right immediately, provide safe space and energy sources, provide safety equipment where necessary, and make sure that there is good drainage in areas where wet processes take place.

You have a responsibility to provide a good level of natural light, as well as to make sure that there is suitable light at a workstation. You also need to make sure that you provide emergency lighting to give workers adequate light levels during a crisis.

The building must be kept clean and tidy to guarantee the long-term effectiveness of workers, and any spillages or waste must be disposed of in a suitable fashion. You also have an obligation to meet every hygiene and welfare expectation, making sure that the environment your staff work in is suitable for them. Furthermore, you are expected to provide an environment that is comfortable and safe. There must be proper heating and ventilation available.

All of these responsibilities are your roles and duties as an employer. Naturally, you may wish to employ somebody to help with this. They will be your designated health and safety officers, and they must receive proper training, support, and adequate compensation for their new duties.

Risk Assessment

As part of your responsibilities as an employer, you will be required to conduct a risk assessment for workplace health and safety. This will involve inspecting the workplace to identify risks to health and safety and then making sure that you implement the proper control measures to prevent hazards from occurring.

Risk assessments need to be appropriately documented in order to be effective. This will form part of the due diligence expected from all businesses, as in the event of a legal situation, you will have evidence that you conducted proper risk assessments for workplace health and safety.

Display Health and Safety Law Poster

As part of your responsibilities as an employer, you will be required to acquire and display health and safety law posters. These posters are designed to articulate certain aspects of health and safety law in a way that can be easily understood by both visitors to the building and the staff themselves.

There should be a poster in each relevant section of the workplace, and it should be easily accessible and readable. This means positioning the posters in areas where they have constant exposure to light.

First Aid at Work

First aid is a vital part of workplace health and safety. As the employer, you are responsible for training multiple people to be first aid providers and also for making sure that there is suitable first aid equipment located on the premises at all times.

As a responsibility, this is one of the most important for a workplace. Health and safety demands that any first aid provisions kept on site are suitable for the incidents that may occur. This includes having the emergency resources to treat a chemical burn or having the right equipment required to patch up a wound. You should also have a defibrillator on site in case of cardiac emergencies.

Emergency Procedures

As part of modern health and safety responsibilities, you need to develop emergency procedures that will be used by staff in the event of a crisis. This will outline what to do, where to go, and what relevant authorities to contact in the event of an emergency.

This information should be disseminated to staff on a regular basis, and tests should be conducted to make sure that all staff act appropriately in an emergency situation.

Business Liability Insurance

Arguably one of the lesser known requirements for a business that wishes to comply with health and safety workplace law is business liability insurance.

Business liability insurance is a special kind of insurance that is required for a business because it is used in the event that a customer or member of the public claims they have suffered injuries or accidents whilst on the premises. These kinds of claims can reach unlimited levels without business liability insurance and can easily bankrupt a company. Therefore, it is necessary to have the appropriate insurance available.

Online Training

Online training is a good way to make sure that every single member of your organisation is aware of workplace health and safety, has been briefed on the relevant policies and procedures, and understands their responsibilities as workers towards themselves as well as the general public.

This type of training is largely considered to be essential, as staff who are not aware of workplace health and safety cannot possibly hope to act in a way that is within regulations and can put themselves, the business, and the general public at risk of harm on an everyday basis.

Learn Q can provide this training. We have considerable experience when it comes to giving businesses the best possible results. We are more than happy to train your entire team at the same time and provide specialist training for any designated health and safety representatives that you choose to hire for the sake of assisting you in your responsibilities. This kind of training is absolutely essential, so there is no excuse for not getting it done in a proper fashion. However, we are happy to accommodate any sized business and give them support.

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