Employer’s Responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act
If you want to become a good employer, there are some things that you have to accomplish to avoid problems or lawsuits in the future. You have to follow the employer’s responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974.
There are so many things that you have to do to make the workplace safe and healthy for people.
The Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974
When you hire new employees, it is your responsibility to ensure their health and safety. Violation of the Health and Safety at Work Act can make your business or organization liable for any accidents or happenings that can affect your employee’s productivity. The employer is responsible for people who come into the premises of the workplace like suppliers, general public, and clients or customers. The act was approved way back in 1974 but it is to be followed by all employers to avoid potential problems in the future.
The act is supposed to be implemented by the health and safety executive of an organization or the owner of a sole proprietorship business. The only way to identify potential safety or health hazards is by conducting risk assessment. The employer can conduct this procedure or he/she can appoint any competent individual to carry out such vital task. Whether you own a small or large business, you must keep all the records of the assessment and the formal policy should be drafted. When you hire a new employee, the employer should inform him or her about the health and safety policy.
Here are other responsibilities of the employer under the act – ensure the safety of the workplace, prevent possible health risks, working practices should be safe including the use of machineries (when applicable), all materials inside the premises should be handled, used, and stored properly, ensure the installation of first aid, inform new employees about potential hazards in the workplace, organize emergency plans, work equipment should be checked and maintained regularly, and give health supervision when necessary. When the business involves manual handling of hazardous materials, you have to inform employee and observe the necessary precautions at work. When needed, the employer should also provide for the employees’ protective clothing.
The workplace should have adequate ventilation so that employees can breathe in fresh and clean air. Workplaces that require physical activities should maintain temperatures at 13˚C while offices should observe 16˚C. Proper lighting should also be provided and as much as possible, the work area should allow ease of movement (providing each employee with 11 cubic meters if space. All walkways, roadways, and floors should be safe to prevent injuries. You can also install safety devices on door and gates. The work area should have clean drinking water and washing facilities. These are just some of the responsibilities of an employer under the 1974 act and there are still others that you have to follow.
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