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Under workplace safety laws, your employer holds the ultimate responsibility in ensuring that employees come to work every day to a job site that is clear of any hazards to a worker’s health and well-being. At the same time, as an employee, you also bear some of the responsibility for keeping both you safe and the people around you.
What are your health and safety responsibilities as an employee?
As an employee, your first requirement is to conduct your job duties in a way that you don’t jeopardize your own health and safety. Functionally, this means is you must make personal decisions, either through action or inaction, that will improve your personal safety at work at all times. There are dozens of ways this rule comes into play on any given day, so let’s go over a few good examples.
Your personal appearance plays a major role in keeping you safe, as you shouldn’t be wearing loose clothing or jewelry that could get you caught in any machines at your workplace. You should also keep your hair short, or if it’s long, tied back, or otherwise secured so it also won’t catch in anything either. You’ve also got to act responsibly while working, and that includes using machinery and equipment in the safest ways – and in ways, you were trained in or instructed to by your employer.
Your responsibilities under health and safety laws don’t end there. Protecting yourself from harm is obviously important, but you also have a duty to protect the health and safety of other people around you. This, again, covers a wide range of possible scenarios. Additionally, it’s not just your responsibility to protect your co-workers; you also have a duty to any non-employees that are present on the job site. This is true whether or not they’re supposed to be there.
You have to take action to prevent anyone from encountering an unsafe situation while you’re at work. You also can’t ignore an unsafe situation, either – you must address it personally or inform a supervisor immediately so they can remedy it. If you suffer a personal injury, you must report it to a supervisor as well, as they are required to keep detailed injury records. Informing your supervisors also alerts the company to any issues there may be with certain job tasks that might pose a danger to other employees engaged in the same job duties.
You get dozens of rights when you’re employed when it comes to employee safety. It’s only fair, therefore, that you also share some of the responsibilities in keeping your workplace safe. These responsibilities can vary, but all of them are concerned with reducing the chances that an injury, either to you or to another, occurs during work hours.
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