Health and Safety at Work

Employers have a legal obligation to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all their employees, as well as any visitors to the premises (such as suppliers or customers). This is part of a duty of care which must be observed at all times, or someone will be put at risk of suffering a serious injury.

Health and Safety in the Workplace – An Employer’s Responsibility

It is an employer’s responsibility to protect the health and safety of their staff. This is a legal obligation, and is laid out in the Health and safety at Work Act 1974, which states: “It shall be the duty of all employers to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health safety and welfare of all their employees whilst they are at work.”

In order to comply with health and safety regulations, an employer must arrange a risk assessment for the premises. This will allow any potential hazards to be quickly identified and remedied.

An employer must then take steps to:-

  • Keep the workplace adequately ventilated;
  • Maintain a comfortable temperature;
  • Provide sufficient lighting;
  • Ensure a good standard of cleanliness;
  • Keep all equipment in good working order;
  • Store things in a safe and appropriate place;
  • Make sure all walkways, roads etc are safe to use;
  • Provide workrooms that are big enough to allow easy movement;
  • Provide clean drinking water and facilities – eg. toilets and first aid;
  • Protect people from falling, slipping/tripping etc.
  • Protect people from dangerous substances – eg. hazardous chemicals;
  • Allow employees appropriate rest breaks and holidays.

Unsafe Work Practice – What Can You Do?

If you have witnessed an unsafe work practice, you have a duty to yourself and your work colleagues to raise the matter with your employer. You have the right to make such a complaint without being dismissed or subjected to any other form of unfavourable action (such as redundancy). Furthermore, you may refuse to carry out orders if you believe your health and safety is threatened. If you do experience any disciplinary action as a result of your actions, you may have the right to take your grievance to an Employment Tribunal.

What if You Have Suffered an Injury?

Alternatively, you may have already suffered an injury due to poor health and safety conditions at work. In such an event, you need to seek expert legal advice. This is because your employer has a duty of care to look after your health, safety and welfare while you are at work. If there is a failure to do so then your employer has breached this legal responsibility, and you could be entitled to make a personal injury claim. Should you be successful, you will receive compensation for the pain and suffering you have experienced, as well as the financial expenses you have lost.

Call today for advice on claiming compensation

It is essential that your health, safety and wellbeing are protected in the workplace. If your employer does not do so, it is only fair that you are compensated should you suffer a workplace injury.

Dial 0808 901 9069 or complete the enquiry form below to get in touch with our specialist work accident solicitor.

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