Employers have a responsibility for the health and safety of their employees and there are a range of laws and regulations on hazards that employers must follow to keep you safe in the workplace. Employers must maintain their employee’s welfare and ensure that they are effectively controlling any risks to injury or health that could arise in the workplace. The main laws and regulations surrounding workplace safety in the UK are the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulation 1999, which set out the general duties which employers have to employees regarding their safety.
In our latest blog, we’ll outline the steps employers should be taking to keep their employees safe if and when they are required to work at a height.
There are specific Work at Height Regulations 2005 which set out in some detail the obligations on employers.
The most important step your employer should be taking to keep you safe are workplace risk assessments. Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulation 1999, at a minimum employers must: identify what could cause injury or illness in the workplace (hazards), decide how likely it is that someone could be harmed and how seriously (the risk) and take action to eliminate the hazard, or if not possible, at least control the risk. After identifying these factors, your employer must then make arrangements for implementing the health and safety measures identified as necessary by the risk assessment.
Appointing Health and Safety Coordinator
An employer must appoint a competent person or people to help them implement the arrangements identified through the risk assessment and help the employer meet their health and safety legal duties. Such individual(s) must have knowledge and experience that would allow them to be able to recognise any potential hazards in the company.
Providing Information and Training
All employees must be informed of how to work safely and without risk to their health. Employees must be given clear instructions and information as well as sufficient training to ensure workplace safety. Additionally, the law says that every business must have a policy for managing health and safety which sets out the workplace’s general approach to health and safety and explains how the employer will manage health and safety in the company, who does what, when and how. This must be accessible to all employees.
First Aid and Emergency Procedures
Employers must be able to ensure that employees are able to get immediate help if taken ill or injured at work. Measures that employers should take to ensure this include having a suitably stocked first aid kit, an appointed person or people to take charge of first aid arrangements, and information for all employees telling them about first aid arrangements. Similarly, employers should set up emergency procedures to be taken in the event of an injury or accident such as workplace safety routes and quick access to emergency services.
The Work at Height Regulations 2005 outline in detail the obligations on employers should their employees work at a height. However, employees should avoid working from height if possible. If it is not, employers should take the necessary steps to prevent anyone falling from a height and prevent anyone from being injured from a fall or falling object. Because of this, if you have suffered a fall from height at work, there is a good chance you will be able to claim compensation.
If you or a loved one need advice on filing a claim for a violation of workplace safety, please get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitor today.