Employers and employees alike all know about health and safety legislation, but as an employer, do you know enough? The Health and Safety at Work Act, or HASAW, HSW, as it is more commonly known, is the main piece of government legislation that protects the health and safety of employees at work, and was first introduced in 1974.
Regarding this legislation, employers are obliged to ‘to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work’ of all employees within their supervision. To make sure that you’re on top of this important piece of legislative practice, we’ve collaborated with United Carlton – who specialise in business to business office copier solutions – to make sure that you’re always providing the right level of care for you employees.
Employers should be covering these essential requirements:
- When employees are working under conditions that may pose a potential risk to their health, or safety, then this needs to be written within a risk assessment. As well as this, the assessment should be drafted with the employees concerned; this is to ensure transparency in regards to the risks involved for these employees.
- When things go wrong, then you as an employer need to stipulate who your employees need to get in contact with first. Also, employees should know who is responsible when handling hazardous situations; this should be given to employees in a written and verbal form.
- Employees and employers should be working collaboratively to ensure that the working environment is as risk free as possible, and that it is safe for all to use.
- Free of charge, employees should be given all statutory health and safety training, and should also be given any other necessary training if they need it.
- As well as training, employees should be provided with equipment, clothing, and tools free of charge. Employees are more likely to do their job properly, efficiently, and safely if they are provided with the right equipment.
- As well as the above, first aid kits should be provided free of charge to deal with injuries or insurance to cover any accidents at work.
Other things to keep in mind
Training should always be evaluated. Once you have provided health and safety training for you employees, then you should evaluate whether this training has been successful. One way to do this is by deciding if employees are demonstrating best practice within their working day. Ask yourself, are employees showing that they are keeping their working practice consistently safe throughout the day. Also, are tools being used correctly during the day? If they aren’t then this should be addressed with employees, as it is their responsibility to keep tools and materials in good condition.
Employee relationships and worker responsibility. Employees should always be working together in a way that ensures the safety of themselves and others. As well as this, employees should be conscientious of other employees so that every decision they make is a safe one. This is especially important when employees are working in high-risk situations with each other, is this is in a mechanical environment.
Employee relationships with employers. When you as an employer provide information on health and safety, are employees accepting of this information or are they rebelling against it? Rebelling could be in the form of not listening during presentations, or simply ignoring information. If this is the case, then try to make sure communication channels are as clear as possible. Furthermore, if you explain why health and safety is an important consideration and how it can impact them, then employees will be more willing to listen.
Do you listen as an employer? When employees come to you with a problem regarding health and safety, are you addressing their concerns and resolving them by taking their concerns seriously. You could legitimately address their concerns in the form of a written document; incidents should be recorded within an incident report to avoid any potential accidents in the future. As well as this, employees should be reporting where they see instances of equipment inadequacies, inadequate training, or an employee’s incompetency.