The responsibility for a safe work environment lies with everyone at work

No matter the workplace, there are always health and safety risks involved. Some jobs, however, include more workplace hazards, for example constructing a building. Employers are required, by law, to create a workplace free of hazards for their employees and any third parties on site. But safety at work is not only a responsibility of an employer, employees also have a part to play.

Employers are responsible for a safe workplace

Employers have to build a safe workplace for anyone who enters the site. A first step is to execute a risk assessment to gain insight into all the possible risks and the measures needed to combat these risks. For working at height this means employers need to set safe work policies and rescue procedures, as well as provide fall protection equipment and training. The tasks that everyone shares to protect themselves, and each other, from harm, need to be made clear

Supervisors, for example, also bear responsibilities in preventing falls from height and keeping workers safe. They need to understand the hazards that are faced and the safety measures in place to prevent accidents from happening. Additionally, they need to warrant that safety policies are being followed and signal when improvements can be made. Supervisors need to help staff understand the hazards they face, keeping them on their toes regarding threats and set good rules for housekeeping.

Employee’s responsibilities

The responsibility for worker safety does not rest solely with the employer, employees also have to contribute. After all, if an employer has provided all the necessary fall protection equipment and training, workers are required to use the equipment and behave according to the teachings. Employees are expected to assess their own safety as well. If a situation, or equipment, is deemed unsafe they should report to their supervisor, or someone who has the authority to stop the work.

Employees are also required to inspect their fall protection equipment before each use. How this inspection should take place is something the employer needs to mandate. The knowledge for inspecting the equipment should be gained via training.

Additionally employees should act in a safe manner. Workplace accidents are often caused by human behavior. This is one of the reasons employees should avoid rushing and cutting corners.

Download poster

We all share a responsibility in shaping and maintaining a safe workplace. Download our poster with employee responsibilities, print it and hang it in a visible location to keep reminding employees of their duties, as well as the employer’s.

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