Employer and Employee Responsibilities

A safe workplace is a productive place. Regardless of the type of business, safety is always a priority. Both the employer and employee have responsibilities when it comes to workplace safety, so full cooperation is required by both parties. Safety is a team effort!

Employer Responsibilities

Safe Working Environment

An employer must take all “reasonably practicable steps” to eliminate any risks in a workplace that could cause harm to an employee or anyone else (such as members of the public or customers).

Table from worksafe.govt.nz

Provide Facilities

All staff members need to use the facilities at some point if ya know what I mean, and thankfully it is a legal requirement for employers to provide those facilities! Facilities such as bathrooms, drinkable water, a place to wash hands, a place to eat and take breaks, and a place to rest if you can’t go home.

Additionally, those facilities need to suit the workforce. The size of the location and number of team members needs to be taken into account.

Emergency Procedures

It is vital to the health and safety of your staff and your building to have fire safety systems in place, as well as fire and emergency procedures. These procedures should be communicated with your staff. Providing training for your staff is very important, so they know how to respond in emergency situations. Some general training topics all staff could take part in: Fire Warden & Emergency Procedures, Fire Suppression Procedures, Emergency Warden, and Workplace Safety Awareness. There is other training that would be important to learn, too, if your workplace requires it, such as: Confined Space and Hazardous Atmospheres, Elevated Work Platform, Heights Awareness, Hot Works & Safety Watch, and Spill Control.

Employee Responsibilities

Do Not Endanger Yourself

Everything you do or do not do has certain implications for you and the people around you. Always take precautions when at work and ensure that your actions (or inactions) would not result in hurting yourself and your team.

Report Potential Hazards

Hazards are everywhere and there’s always a thin line between hazards and accidents. That is why you should always be responsible for taking note of the hazards around you so the management team can do something about it and avoid accidents.

Follow Policies and Procedures

Company policies and procedures are carefully thought of and constructed, not just so you’ll be guided with what to do. Most importantly, they’re there to keep you and everybody safe. So, it is important that we comply with these policies and follow such procedures for everyone’s security.

Housekeeping

Good housekeeping is the first principle of safety. Always keep your work area clean and clutter-free, what’s not supposed to be there should be kept away from there. Even a simple lighted cigarette can burn down a whole building.

As you have read, both the employer and employee have responsibilities in the workplace. Going to work isn’t just about carrying out your own tasks. You must be aware of everyone and everything around you, and anything that could take place that could affect the health and safety of yourself and those around you.