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Understanding Health and Safety at Work

The Health and Safety at Work act covers all aspects of workplace safety and helps to ensure that the risks of injury or death to employees are greatly reduced. When people think of this act they may often associate it with places of work such a factories and construction sites which do pose many obvious threats, but some less obvious places such as offices and restaurants will also have their own unique dangers. While employers have a duty to understand and adhere to the Act, it is also important for employees to understand it and how they can play a role in making the workplace safer.

The employee’s role in Health and Safety

Whether you work in an unpredictable environment such as a construction site or the relative calm of an office there are steps that you as an employee will need to take in order to play your part in your company’s adherence to the Health and Safety at Work act. The bosses of a company will need to make sure that all the safety practices are put into place but because they cannot be everywhere at once to ensure that the standards are maintained, some of the responsibility falls on the workers. This means general things such as:

  • Spotting and reporting potential hazards.
  • Taking care not to obstruct walkways etc.
  • Practicing correcting heavy lifting techniques.
  • Being aware of what the act requires.

The employer’s role in Health and Safety

All employers now have responsibility for ensuring that their employees can carry out their work in a safe environment. While the act itself covers a wide range of workplace issues some of the main things to consider are:

  • Maintenance of plant and machinery.
  • Correct storage of hazardous materials.
  • Provisions of adequate welfare facilities.
  • Health and Safety training for employees.

Everyone has a responsibility to ensure that good health and safety at work is maintained. The act only serves as a guide and does not cover all issues so it is important to be vigilant and recognise the dangers.