Who is responsible for health and safety in the workplace?
Posted on 15th September 2021
When we work with injured clients who have been involved in a workplace accident, they often ask us the same questions. ‘Who is responsible for health and safety in the workplace?’, ‘Who is responsible for workplace health and safety?’, and ‘Who is responsible for managing health and safety at work?.
In this post, our expert accident at work solicitors break down the law surrounding health and safety at work, and explain who holds what responsibility, and in which situations.
Employers’ health and safety responsibilities:
Generally speaking, employers and business owners have the most responsibility when it comes to maintaining the health and safety of the workplace. This employer responsibility comes from a number of legislations, including the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974, which outlines the duties employers have to both their employees and the public, and The Management of Health and Safety of Work Regulations 1999.
Under these legislations, employers must protect the safety and welfare of both staff and other people who are involved in their business. As part of these rules, all employers must:
Provide adequate training to all staff for their job role and the risks involved
Carry out regular risk assessments- both generic and specific risk assessments relating to the use of particular equipment and machinery
Create a full health and safety policy for the workplace
Communicate this health and safety policy to employees
Provide first-aid training and a fully stocked first-aid kit
If an employer fails to comply with any of their responsibilities under health and safety legislation, and an employee is injured in an accident caused by this negligence, then they could have an accident at work claim made against them by the injured employee.
When this happens, the accident at work claim will be made against the Public Liability Insurance of the business, rather than the employer themselves. For more information on the process of accident at work claims, and what constitutes a claim, contact our solicitors here, for a free, no-obligation discussion.
HSE and workplace health and safety:
If you are a worker or an employee, and you do not believe that your employer is carrying out their legal duties to maintain health and safety in the workplace, and to protect you from accidents at work, then you can make a complaint with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). This is the national regulating body for health and safety in England. Reporting a health and safety issue to HSE can be the best way to prevent accidents and injury to employees.
In the case of a workplace accident causing serious injury, a report must be made to the HSE, as required under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. This should be done by the employer within ten days of the accident occurring, but can be done by the injured employee if the employer refuses to do so. See more on this, here.
Employees’ health and safety responsibilities:
While employers are largely responsible for the health and safety of the workplace, employees do hold some responsibility when it comes to keeping themselves and others safe at work.
In order to maintain workplace health and safety, employees must:
Follow all health and safety training
Comply with health and safety procedures provided by their employer
Be proactive, and work in a way that minimises risk
Report any risks to safety and risks of injury
Employees bear some responsibility when it comes to preventing workplace accidents, but the large majority of their responsibility comes down to following the advice and training of their employer.
In the large majority of accidents at work, and workplace injuries, it is the larger-scale failings of the employer or business owner to provide this initial training or offer this initial guidance that leads to serious workplace injuries.
Who was responsible for my accident at work?
As can be seen from this overview of health and safety legislation, it is the employer or the business owner that has the majority of the responsibility for maintaining health and safety at work, and ensuring that the risk of injury to employees is kept at a minimum.
If you have been injured in an accident at work, whether it was a forklift truck accident, a slip, trip or fall, or an injury caused by defective equipment, and you were acting within the remit of employee safety and sensible working, then you could well be eligible to make an accident at work claim against your employee.
I’ve been injured in an accident at work. Can I make a claim?
If you have been injured in an accident at work in the last three years, and the accident was not your fault, you could be eligible to make a NO WIN NO FEE personal injury claim with MG Legal’s specialist accident at work solicitors.
Here at MG Legal, we know that making an injury claim against your employer can be daunting, but believe that you deserve the justice and financial compensation that you are entitled to for your injuries.
Our team have a success rate of 99% in our NO WIN NO FEE accident at work claims, and are experts in all aspects of the relevant regulations and legislation. For more information on what we do, and how we can help you today, simply browse our website, or contact us here to speak to a specialist solicitor today.
Tagged as: Accident Injury Solicitors, Injury, Injury Compensation Claims, Personal Injury Solicitors
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