Employers have responsibilities for the health and safety of their employees. They are also responsible for any visitors to their premises such as customers, suppliers and the general public. As an employee you have rights but you also have responsibilities for your own well-being and that of your colleagues

Employers responsibilities

Under the Health and Safety Act 1974 and subsequent specific regulations employers are responsible for protecting the health and safety of employees, visitors and the general public and to assess risks in the workplace by carrying out  Risk Assessments addressing all potential areas that might cause harm in your workplace.

In January 1992, six regulations on Health and Safety at Work were introduced. Most of the requirements of these Regulations were not new, they simply spelled out in more detail what a responsible employer should already have been doing to comply with the requirements of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act. They are:

  • The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations
  • Manual Handling Operations Regulations.
  • Display Screen Equipment (DSE) Regulations
  • Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations
  • Provision and use of Work Equipment Regulations
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Regulations

More information on these regulations and how they affect you can be found at the Health and Safety Executive website.

For a guide to what you need to know about Health and Safety Law, click here.

For full details of employers responsibilities and workers rights that affect health and safety at work, follow this link.

An SME guide to managing employee wellbeing: encouraging responsible screen time and managing communications is available here.

Employees Responsibilities

Employees have health and safety duties as well as employers. This reflects the fact that for good safety management it is essential for the employer and employees to work together.

Employees have a legal duty to inform their employer or Trade Union representative of any work situation that they consider represents a serious and imminent danger to health and safety and, in addition, of any matter which they think represents a shortcoming in the employer's protection arrangements for health and safety.

If no suitable action is taken, an employee can contact the relevant enforcing authority which will be as follows:

  • The Local Council in the Service Sector e.g. retail, wholesale, offices, consumer services, hotels, catering, leisure etc.
  • The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) in agriculture, construction sites, education, government, medical and manufacturing businesses. 

To find your local HSE office follow this link.

Accidents at Work

Also under the Social Security (Claims and Payments) Regulations 1979, if  ten or more persons are employed at any one time, all injuries to employees, regardless of how minor they may appear, must be recorded in an accident book provided by the employer and kept on the premises.

For a down-loadable guide to Accidents at work follow this link.

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