Employees Duties For Avoiding Accidents In The Workplace

If you are employed in any workplace your employer has to ensure that you are safe in your place of work. However, as an employee, you also have duties to ensure that you take care of your own safety, and those of other employees working around you.

Your Responsibilities For
Ensuring Your Safety

During the course of your working day, you must ensure that you take reasonable care for your own health and safety.

This duty concerns various items and tasks during the day. We will look at each one in turn and see why it is important to take care.


This can relate to the type of clothing you wear, from shoes to headwear, and even jewellery. For instance, if you work on machinery that can be dangerous, if you have long hair you will need to wear it up or in a headscarf. The same would apply to long jewellery that might get caught in the machinery. In addition, some jobs may require you to wear strong work boots to ensure that sharp objects do not cause harm to your feet.

Fellow Employees

You must take reasonable care not to put your fellow workers at risk. If you carry out any physical activities you should ensure that any fellow workers will not be harmed by them. For instance, if you are using machinery that causes debris to be dispersed around you, you should ensure that no-one is close to you when operating the machinery.

If you are playing practical jokes, you should ensure that no harm will come to your fellow employees from doing so.

Members of The Public

This duty also extends to taking care not to harm the public if you come into contact with them during the course of your employment. If you are working in retail premises or a public highway you should ensure that your actions will not cause any harm to members of the public.


You need to work with your employer to maintain health and safety in your workplace. If you are offered training for equipment or your job you should take it and then apply it to your job. It may seem mundane at the time but there is usually a good reason for the training, and failing to pay attention may cause injury to you, a colleague or a member of the public in the future.


You must not misuse any equipment that has been provided for the benefit of your health and safety. If you have been provided with goggles, you should wear them and not damage them so as to avoid having to wear them.

Reporting Injuries

If you suffer injuries as a result of your work, you should report them to your employer, no matter how small they seem. Your employer might need to review and change your working practices so as to avoid a more serious injury at a later date.

Reporting Changes To Your Personal Situation

If something happens to you that might affect your ability to carry out your job you must advise your employer. This could relate to suffering a grievance that might affect your ability to carry out your job, or becoming pregnant. Anything that may impact upon your ability to carry out your job should be reported to your employer as soon as possible.

Your employer might need to suspend you if you are not able to carry out your job but on many occasions you will still be paid.

Drivers and Machinery Operators

If you are employed to drive or operate machinery you should advise your employer if you are taking any medication that might make you drowsy. Your employer will have to stop you from using the machinery and move you to another role, but it could prevent a serious injury to you, a colleague or a member of the public.


Your employer has a strong duty of care to protect you whilst you are at work, but you also have a responsibility for yourself and those around you. If you blatantly disregard your duty and subsequently suffer injuries as a result of an accident at work, your claim for work accident compensation may be reduced or refused completely.

Suffered a workplace accident? Dial -0808 901 9069

Employers have a legal obligation to ensure that their employees are well protected. Sadly, not all employers respect such legal guidelines and too many are injured as a result.

To speak to our work accident solicitors, dial 0808 901 9069 or email us using the online enquiry form.

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