The Responsibilities Of Employers
Across all fields of work, employers have responsibilities to ensure the safety and protection of their employees. While this refers to all worksites, whether office based or otherwise, particular care will need to be taken in fields such as construction and other site works when it comes to health and safety.
Under health and safety laws, employers are responsible for managing the risks in their particular business. Employers must do whatever is reasonable to put protections in place.
Workers and others, such as visitors and management, must be protected from any risks which will arise from their specific duty. Below is a guide on the role and responsibilities of employers when working on site and in construction.
This involves assessing the site, and all potential hazards involved. It could mean understanding the risk of asbestos or the dangers of cement and concrete, and chemicals will most likely be used on-site so these need to be correctly labelled, assigned and managed too.
Risk assessment involves:
- Understanding what needs to be on-site to get the job done (and not having unnecessary tools and chemicals)
- Understanding all individual job roles and the risks which come with them
- Knowing if any workers require specific adaptations
- Being aware of labels, signs and other warnings which need to be in place
- Eliminating hazards or controlling risks if this isn't possible
According to the Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations 1989, employers must display the HSE-approved law poster or provide every individual worker with a personal leaflet. We would suggest both.
The posters are available directly from the HSE website, and we would always say there is no such thing as going overboard with how much information your provide, and how prominent and common the leaflets and posters are around your site.
As well as erecting the appropriate signs and information on site, employees and workers need to be verbally informed of risks. They must be informed of all health and safety risks, whether general or direct to their job.
Health and safety consultations can be performed by employees or a safety representative.
Help Employees Understand Their Rights
Employees should report any health and safety issues to the HSE if in England, Scotland or Wales. In Ireland, report issues to the Health and Safety Authority, or in Northern Ireland, report anything to HSENI.
Employees need to be aware of their individual risks, but they also need to take the appropriate individual responsibilities to protect themselves. However, an environment in which employees feel safe and listened to needs to be encouraged. They should be able to come to you if they have worries, and those worries should be rectified.
If not, employees need to be aware they can approach the relevant Health and Safety Board.
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