Health and safety in the workplace is not only the responsibility of the designated Health and Safety Officer, it is the duty of all members of staff to be responsible for the safety of everyone they may have to deal with during the working day; both their colleagues and members of the public.
The Health and Safety Executive are people whose role is to promote safety in the workplace; both by providing information to employers and their employees, and also by ensuring that rules and guidelines are in use in everyday practice.
The employer has a responsibility to follow the regulation which is known as the ‘Health and Safety at Work Act 1974’. This is An Act to make further provision for securing the health, safety and welfare of persons at work, for protecting others against risks to health or safety in connection with the activities of persons at work, for controlling the keeping and use and preventing the unlawful acquisition, possession and use of dangerous substances, and for controlling certain emissions into the atmosphere; to make further provision with respect to the employment medical advisory service. The main objectives of this Act are:
– Protect the health, safety and welfare of people at work.
– Eliminate risks to health and safety at their source.
– Protect the public against risks to health and safety caused by people at work
It is important to abide by this law because we need to protect people’s health and safety by ensuring risks in the changing workplace are properly controlled.
The next act I’m going to write about is ‘The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999’. The main objectives of this act are: You must review risk assessments periodically and make modifications if there are any significant changes in working practices or equipment If safety procedures can ever be improved, appropriate steps should be taken accordingly. You are expected to take reasonable steps to familiarise yourself with the hazards and risks in your workplace.
Work must be organised. A set pattern of rules and regulations usually means more systematic work and less chance of accidents. Training should be given in such a way that hazardous situations can be avoided. For example: Lengthening of working day, removal of taking screening breaks etc for meeting deadlines should be avoided. You must ensure that the significant hazards are identified, and that the actual working practices are addressed and if need be, changed so as to reduce any risk. This is both the responsibility of the employer and employee, for example it is the employees responsibility to familiarise themselves with the hazards and risks in their workplace.
The 3rd act I’m going to write about is ‘Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995’ It regulates the statutory obligation to report deaths, injuries, diseases and dangerous occurrences that take place at work. Responsible persons are generally employers but also include various managers and occupiers of premises. Though the regulations do not impose a specific obligation on employees, they have a general obligation under section 7 of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 to take care of safety. The Health and Safety Executive recommends that they report incidents to their employer and encourages notification to the relevant authority.
Finally I’m going to write about the ‘Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992’ act. These regulations are concerned with the working environment. They place a duty on employers to make sure that the workplace is safe and suitable for the tasks being carried out there, and that it does not present risks to employees and others. This is done by following regulations such as, provision of sufficient quantity of fresh or purified air. An audible fault warning alarm to be fitted to any equipment for this purpose, walls, floors and ceilings to be capable of being kept clean. Wastes not to accumulate, but kept in bins etc and suitable & sufficient facilities to enable persons to eat away from workplace where risk of contamination. Non-smokers to be protected from smoke.