All employers, regardless of what industry they operate in have a duty of care to their employees, clients and customers and anyone else in the workplace, to ensure the conditions are as safe as practically possible by maintaining health and safety at work.
Accidents will unfortunately always occur however careful we are and however safe our working environment is but it is the employer’s responsibility to reduce the element of risk and in turn minimise the chances of injury to the employees by enforcing strict Health & Safety measures.
Industrial workplaces such as building sites, factories and farming are of course more likely to have a higher number of accidents, but employers must maintain satisfactory safety measures regardless of the industry as accidents that cause injury are still common in offices, shop work and workplaces that do not have heavy machinery and are generally thought low risk.
Health and safety principles must be adhered to and all employees should have adequate training to carry out their work and be aware of health and safety procedures and regulations.
Guidelines that employers must follow are set out in the Health & Safety Law. Employers must take steps to as is ‘practically possible’ to ensure the safety of not only the employees but anyone entering the workplace.
An up to date Health & Safety poster should be clearly visible in the workplace for all staff to see the duties of their employer. A Health and Safety Law poster can be purchased for a nominal cost from the Health & Safety Executive.
Together with the Health and Safety at Work Act, there are a number of other Acts that apply to individual industries. As an employer you should be aware of your responsibilities in line with your particular industry.
As a guide we have listed the main points you will find in the legislations:
- Where required training must be provided to employees.
- Emergency procedures in place and practiced and tested regularly.
- Prepare and apply the health and safety measures shown in the risk assessment.
- Health & Safety posters are displayed clearly.
- Assign a capable individual or team to action the arrangements.
- Ensure protective clothing and equipment is supplied and worn by employees when needed and in accordance with Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).
- Inspection and regular assessment of working conditions including heating, lighting, ventilation and work stations.
- Meet requirements for employees working at monitors/Visual Display Units (VDU’s)
- Maintain and regularly service machinery to ensure it is safe to use.
- Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 are adhered to when moving or lifting heavy objects in the workplace.
- There are a sufficient number of qualified first aid people at any one time.
- Up to date employer’s liability insurance is in force to cover for accident injury and illness.
- Necessary precautions are taken when dealing with hazardous substances and all chemicals and toxics substances are clearly labelled and classified.
- Working activities that involve dangerous substances are regularly risk assessed and correct protective clothing and equipment is supplied to employees.
Any accident injury at work should be noted in the accident book as soon as possible.
Any employee who notices broken machinery or a potential hazard should notify their immediate manager and or the person responsible for carrying out risk assessments as the danger may not have been previously recorded in the last risk assessment.
Failure to maintain health and safety at work
If a risk was reported and noted in the last inspection and employees were still told to use the machine or work in an unsafe environment they may well have a claim for compensation if they suffer an injury at work.
If you have suffered an injury at work and feel that this was caused as a result of your employers failure to maintain adequate Health & Safety requirements then please contact us today and speak to one of our experienced injury solicitors.
They will be able to provide a free assessment and advice you whether or not you would be entitled to make a claim for compensation for your work injury.