In general, companies have the legal responsibility to provide a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. And as an employee, you need to know and understand your rights and responsibilities. Creating a safe working environment requires teamwork. Your employer may have legal obligations, but you have responsibilities as well.
In this article, you will understand your rights and responsibilities and how to meet them efficiently.
The law provides solid guidance about how employers can create a healthy and safe environment. All employers must adhere to these government-mandated benefits, and they can never change them. Here are the most vital benefits you need to keep in mind:
- Controlled risks to employee health and safety
- To be given free safety or personal protective equipment
- To stop working or leave if your safety in the working area is compromised.
- Employees must have the platform to voice out their health and safety concerns.
- To file a legal complaint if the employer ignored your problems.
- The right to have breaks at work.
- To have a day-off per week.
- Annual paid holidays.
Below are the things you need to remember to keep yourself safe at work:
- Take care of your health and safety.
- Avoid wearing jewelry or loose clothing if your work includes machinery.
- Wear a headscarf and tie your hair to keep it safe from getting stuck in machines.
- To avoid putting co-workers at risk in the working environment.
- Make sure to cooperate with your employer to get proper training.
- Understand and follow the companies safety rules and regulations.
- To use your equipment correctly and according to your training.
- Be sure to report any injuries, illnesses, and strains due to work errors. Your employer may need to add more safety protocols to prevent it from happening again.
- Inform your supervisor if something occurs that can affect your work performance, such as getting pregnant or injured.
Safety and Personal Protective Equipment
Working environments that are at higher risk of injuries require personal protective equipment. And Employers should give equipment to employees without charge. Your responsibility is to use the equipment accordingly and to wear it during work hours.
In most cases, failure to use PPE can cause disciplinary actions or, worse, work dismissal. Yet you can refuse to wear PPE if you think it’s not necessary for your line of work.
Similarly, your employer should also ensure the safety of all the equipment and machinery before letting employees use them. They should conduct regular maintenance to ensure that the machines are working correctly. Employers should also install oil-less air compressors if needed.
Common Mistakes in Safety Management
Safety management is critical in creating a safe workplace. Its collective goal is to promote safety and prevent hazardous events in the working environment.
Poor safety management can result in many work injuries, affecting the overall performance of employees. That said, here are the common errors in safety management:
- Failing to be proactive. It’s easy for employers to become reactive in the long run. It’s vital to stay active in implementing company rules and creating new policies for safety.
- Poor internal communication. Communication is essential. It is particularly critical in creating a comfortable and safe workplace.
- Not enough training and education about safety. Lack of training is the leading cause of workplace injuries. Poor training is often due to managers assuming that employees are always well-educated about machine handling.
- Overly exhausted employees. Exhaustion plays a crucial role in an employee’s performance. It typically happens when the employee doesn’t have rest breaks, which are essential to becoming more productive and energized.
What To Do if You Have Concerns
If you have health and safety concerns at work, the first thing you need to do is discuss the matter with your employer or boss. It would be wiser to have a safety representative as well. Employee representatives like trade union officials can also be helpful.
Employers should never put employees at risk while at work. That is why the local governments also need to ensure that companies follow the law. Inspectors visit companies from time to time to determine if employers are prioritizing the safety of their employees.
In most cases, employers are always willing to their employees’ sentiments, especially if it concerns their safety. You have to make sure that you provide a detailed explanation of why you’re upset. It would also be helpful to give some suggestions to make the workplace safer not only for you but also for your colleagues.
Communicating correctly goes a long way. Talk to your employer with respect, be honest, and the company will address all your concerns accordingly.