There are approximately five million work days lost each year due to accidents in the workplace. Accidents at work are extremely common, which is why it is so important for employers to make sure processes are being followed correctly and that employees are looking out for fellow colleagues. Workplace responsibilities can be split up in to two categories: employers and employees.
It is an employee’s right to be able to work in a secure, healthy, and safe environment. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the primary piece of legislation covering work-related health and safety in the UK, and the regulations as set out by this must be followed.
As a top priority, you must make sure you are covered by employers’ liability insurance for people who you employ under a contract or apprenticeship. As an employer, you have a legal responsibility to report certain accidents and incidents, pay employees statutory sick pay and give employees time off because of an accident at work if necessary. You must also ensure that employees have the safe tools, equipment and materials to do their job.
Within training, be sure to tell employees about any potential hazards. These may be chemicals or other substances used by the company. It is also key to ensure all facilities are properly maintained, including correct ventilation, temperature, lighting, toilets, washing. Protective clothing or equipment should be offered free of charge and the right warning signs must be provided.
By following the health and safety processes, as set out by your employer, you will be able to minimise the amount of accidents that take place around you. It is your duty to inform employers about hazards you come across in the workplace, so that they may be assessed and the correct processes can be put in place.
Be sure to take reasonable care of your own health and safety, by wearing the provided safety clothing when working, if it is required. You must always clear as you go, so that you are not putting other colleagues at risk, or the public around you.
It is your duty to report any injuries, strains or illnesses you suffer as a result of doing your job, as the way you work may need to be changed. If you drive or operate machinery, you have a responsibility to tell your employer whether you take medication that makes you drowsy, so that your situation can be evaluated.
In the event of an accident, you can receive free and impartial advice from injury lawyers 4U, who will gage whether you have a case to make a possible claim.
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