Finding the Answer to “Who is Responsible for Workplace Safety?”
We all go to work every day. But, have you ever considered whether your workplace is safe or not? In our mad rush to earn money and make our life happier, we forget to ensure the safety of our workplace.
Safety is beneficial not just for employees but also for business owners. If you want to ensure maximum productivity and success at your business, the safety of employees and workplace should be part of your top priorities.
Coming to the pressing question, who is responsible for workplace safety? Is it employers or employees? The simple answer is – Everyone
All workplaces remain safe and healthy only if everyone involved – right from the business owner, management to low-level workers consider workplace safety as part of their responsibility.
The IRS or Internal Responsibly System clearly states that safety is the responsibility of everyone in a company from the CEO to the fresher. The IRS system was introduced by John Hams in 1976 and constituted the Hams Commission.
The functions of the IRS are:
- Promoting safety culture in the workplace
- Ensuring compliance
- Establishing responsibility sharing systems
- Promoting safe and best practices for work
- Helping develop self-reliance
Workplace safety is like a school group project involving two members – employees and employers. Both of them have equal responsibility and have to be involved in the project to get an A+ ranking. Now, that we’ve established both employees and employers are responsible for workplace safety, let’s take a look at the roles and responsibilities of both:
Responsibilities of an Employer in Ensuring Workplace Safety
Employers have an important role in ensuring the safety of his/her organization. Should understand the safety measures needed for the particular workplace. Here are the basic tasks to carry out:
- Carry out risk assignment
This is the first and foremost step in ensuring safety in the workplace. Look around your workplace and see how safe (or unsafe) it is. It gives you an idea about the necessary steps to be taken. You can hire third-party risk assessment teams to carry out risk audits of the workplace.
- Consider the employee
There are plenty of people in an organization, from full-time to part-time employees, vendors, interns and more. An employer must ensure each of them is safe. It doesn’t matter whether the employee will work 3 days or 3 years. Safety measures apply to all.
With the right actions, you can make sure they are safe. For example, when allotting work schedule of pregnant ladies, avoid late night work shifts, or you can even offer them the opportunity to work from home if possible.
- Implementing the measures
Just handwritten or verbal rules are not enough to ensure workplace safety. Building a safety culture at work is important.
It’s important to check whether machines are working in proper conditions and are not having any trouble at regular intervals. You can also update to new technology to make sure there is less labor and maximum efficiency. You can easily achieve this by:
- Providing additional training and programs
- Replacing all outdated and obsolete equipment in the workplace
- Reduce manual handling
- Create a Tailored Healthy and Safely policy
It’s important to make sure that you organize health check-ups for your employees, which ensures that employees are healthy. Awareness about basic hygiene and fitness levels can bring a major change in the health of employees.
- Understand the Law
Learning the laws regarding starting a business is important to understand the do’s and don’ts in the business field. It also helps you to keep your workplace safe and healthy, while ensuring that you comply with all state and central laws.
- Display the health and Safety Posters
Displaying health and safety posters is one of the easiest methods to keep your employees aware of rules and workplace safety rules. It also helps in spreading awareness and helps to boost a safety culture at work.
- First-aid Kits
Keeping a first-aid kit in the workplace is important. It ensures that you are ready for any emergencies. Providing proper first aid at the right time will make sure you avoid many serious issues.
- Provide training to staff
It’s important to train staff about ever-changing policies and safety measures. You can conduct classes about the newly updated technology. Training is the best way to avoid risk they may face while working.
These are some of the important rules to be followed by employers in making a healthy and safe workplace.
Responsibilities of an Employee in Ensuring Workplace Safety
The employee has as much responsibility as employers. He should take care of himself to feed him and his family. Also, ensure his colleagues are safe and healthy. Let’s look into some of the roles an employee has in the workplace to keep it safe and healthy.
- Adhere to safety procedures.
As an employee, you must not interfere with safety equipment like protective barriers, rails, machine guards, etc. You must wear personal protective equipment at all times, if you are required to do so. PPE including gloves, hats, boots, and overalls ensure that you are protected from dangerous chemicals, sharp objects, etc. in the workplace. Don’t take safety shortcuts.
- Keep Workplace Clutter-free
Keep the workplace neat and clean makes sure that you say no to diseases that can be spread. Also, a cluttered workplace is a magnet for accidents.
- Report Troubles
If you notice any mistakes or damages in equipment or the workwear make sure that you report it to your seniors. This prevents you from deadly accidents.
- Attend training sections
Training sessions are mandatory and can even save your life. So, make sure that you attend all training sessions and follow the instructions taught.
- Speak up for Safety
As an employee by following safety rules, you are making yourself and your colleagues safe. If you feel you need more safety in your place, speak up. Contact your seniors and suggest the methods to achieve it.
Wrapping Up – Safety is the Responsibility of Everyone
If safety is the engine that drives the business, then you – employees and employers – are the key that starts it. Make safety your priority and enhance workplace safety, and take your business to the next levels.