Your Employees’ Health and Safety Rights in the Workplace

Health and safety remains a significant focal point for businesses in the modern age, particularly as it helps to safeguard the physical and mental wellbeing of employees in any particular workplace.

What’s more, there are estimated to be 1.7 million working people suffering from work-related ill health in the UK. This creates a significant human and financial cost for firms, particularly when it comes to longer and extended absences.

But why is health and safety so important in the workplace, and what workers’ rights and responsibility are laid out in law?

Why is Health and Safety so Important in the Workplace?

Ultimately, all workers are entitled to work in safe and controlled environments, in which potential risks to their health have been identified, assessed and ultimately mitigated.

The purpose of health and safety legislation is to enshrine this entitlement in law, while ensuring that employers are directly responsible for maintaining a safe work environment at all times.

By maintaining a strong and proactive approach to optimising health and safety in the workplace, you’re taking steps to protect each employee’s physical and mental wellbeing. In this respect, imposing reasonable working hours and safeguarding employees against discrimination is good business practice, in addition to enabling firms to comply with the law.

Certainly, creating safe employees who are happy in their work can lead to an uptick in productivity, optimising their value to the business and potentially boosting turnover alongside bottom line profitability.

What’s more, this can reduce the long-term cost of staff absenteeism, while driving increased levels of retention and making it much more affordable to creative an effective workforce and retain your firm’s top talent.

Rights and Responsibilities

As we’ve already touched on, employers are required to identify and assess all workplace risks, while providing this information directly to staff members on how to deal with these potential issues.

This includes creating a clearly defined and transparent accident reporting process, while also instructing staff members on how to use particularly equipment or items of machinery.

As we’ve already touched on, an employee has the legal right to expect their employee to safeguard their health and safety. However, they also have responsibilities that they need to uphold, including taking reasonable care of their own wellbeing in the workplace.

Similarly, they’re required to take reasonable care not to put other people (including colleagues and customers) at risk, which will entail not using equipment recklessly or showing a disregard for others’ health and safety.

Also, employees will be required to seek out redress or compensation in instances where they’re injured in an accident work. For example, all head or brain injury claims will need to be proven, both in terms of their physical (or mental) impact and the liability of an employer.

As we can see, this creates a delicate balance between rights and responsibilities from the perspective of employees, and this also needs consideration in the workplace.

Author: Editorial Team

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