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Whether workers also responsible for maintaining Health and Safety?

Roles and responsibilities for maintaining Health & Safety

Most of us agree that the ultimate responsibility for providing a safe workplace rests with the employer. But when an accident happens most of the time, it is found that the employer gave all the training, provided a safe workplace, he invested a lot in safety to keep his employees and workers safe, but due to the negligence of the employee, an accident occurs.

Whether workers also responsible for maintaining Health and Safety?

Therefore, according to the law, all workers, and their representatives also responsible for maintaining the safety in workplace, they must co-operate with their employer so that he or she can fulfill his or her safety obligations.

Workers responsibilities for maintaining Health and Safety

  1. Workers should take reasonable care of their own safety and others who might be affected by their work and the things that they fail to do.
  2. Workers should comply with safety instructions and procedures set by employer.
  3. Workers should use all safety equipment and PPEs properly and not tamper with it.
  4. Workers should report any situation that they believe could be a hazardous and which they cannot themselves correct.
  5. Workers should report any work-related accident or ill-health.

Employers’ roles and responsibilities for maintaining Health and Safety

  1. “Assure the safety and health of the workers in each part related to the work activities”
  2. Carry out safety and health risk assessments at the workplaces and communicate to workmen.
  3. Provide appropriate safety and health training and ensure that each worker can participate and must be repeated whenever necessary;
  4. Take care of measures of emergency response including evacuation procedures, firefighting, and medical services, etc
  5. Implement and ensure workers participation and consultation in decisions making process related to their health and safety.

Safety is individual responsibility

Everybody within organization must comply health and safety because legal obligations apply to all. Any breach of legal obligations may impose penalties or prosecution.
It is also a prime and moral responsibility of employer to provide the safe workplace to all workforce working under him including visitors.
Any loss due to accidents and breach of legal requirements, law enforcement notice by regulatory body may leads to prosecution or/and impose penalties on company manager.
Any loss due to negligence/ violation of HSE traffic rules in workplace shall be penalized either minimum € 1500- or six months imprisonment or both.
as per OHS Authority Act (Chap. 424), annexure-1, “Employer not taking measures to prevent risks of falls from heights (Cap. 424 and LN 36/2003), Penalty minimum €450 shall be imposed”.
Employer not taking the necessary measures for fire-fighting and evacuation of workers in the event of serious and imminent danger as contemplated by LN 44 / 2002, Penalty shall be imposed of minimum €250”

Above are few examples only, there are numbers of provision in law to impose the penalties on every breach of requirements.

How to minimize the penalties

Employers can ensure certain precautionary measures to minimize the penalties and other type of prosecutions
  1. Maintain worker PPEs issue register.
  2. Maintain record of statutory training and skill development record.
  3. Maintain record of workers competency.
  4. Maintain record of workers health and safety violation and disciplinary actions.
  5. Maintain record of workers medical fitness and periodic medical check.
  6. Maintain record of Hazard and risk assessment and communication to workers, etc

If employers maintaining above records, it definitely helps him to minimize the compensation claim raised by injured worker in accident case. Employer can argue that he has provided and ensure all legal obligation, but because of workers negligence, accident happened.

From top management down to the front-line workers, all are responsible for health and safety within the organization. A standard framework of roles and responsibilities must be created to comply the organizational HSE policy and to achieve the goal of zero incident/ accidents.

Top management roles and responsibilities for maintaining Health and Safety:

  1. Develop and implement the appropriate health and safety policy.
  2. Allocated adequate resources including competent personnel to establish, implement and maintain the health and safety management system to deliver the objectives.
  3. A standard framework of roles and responsibilities related to health and safety.
  4. Appoint competent persons to assist the organization in meeting its health and safety obligations.
  5. Periodically review the health and safety performance of the organization to ensure that the objectives are being achieved and take decision for continual improvement.
  6. Top management must demonstrate clear commitment and leadership with regard to health and safety.

Line management roles and responsibilities for maintaining Health and Safety:

Line managers are directly interacting with supervisors and workmen. They are involved in the day-to-day operational and responsible for the health and safety standards within the operations under their control. Line managers are operationally responsible for the health and safety of:
  1. Staff and workmen who are directly reporting to them.
  2. The areas and activities under their control.

As whole, If we see, there are standard frame work of roles and responsibilities in organization and everybody is responsible for their health and safety.
For maintaining Health & Safety standards, each and every one from top management down to the front-line workers, all are responsible for health and safety within the organization. But ultimate responsibility is lies with employer for ensuring that the workplace is safe and free from health risk.

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  1. Very informative

    If we maintain PPE issue register is it oogd defence

    1. Yes, It help employer to prove that he has comply the requirement.

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