Workplace Safety: Employer and Employee Responsibilities

It needs to be understood that in every workplace the employer is ultimately responsible for everything that happens in the work environment. Even in situations where an employee is obviously negligent, the employer will bear a large portion of the responsibility. Therefore, the employer must take every precaution to assure that safety is upheld at all times.

If you are an employer, do not think for one moment that you can hide behind waivers and legal documents. Even if your workers are contractors you are still responsible for their actions. You are also responsible for any visitors and maintenance crew.

Employers Are Responsible For

  • Ensuring that the workplace, machinery, equipment, and processes are safe.
  • Ensuring that the workplace chemical, physical, and biological substances and agents are safe when appropriate measures of protection are taken.
  • Providing adequate protection clothing and protective equipment to prevent risk of accidents or of adverse effects on health.
  • Providing proper and well-maintained equipment.
  • Giving necessary instructions and training.
  • Providing adequate supervision of work and work practices.
  • Providing, without cost to the employees, adequate personal protective clothing and equipment for situations where hazards cannot be eliminated.
  • Taking measures to eliminate excessive physical and mental fatigue.

Employees Are Responsible To

  • Take reasonable care of your own safety and the safety of those around you, who may be affected by your acts or omissions at work.
  • Comply with instructions given in regards to safety.
  • Use, and to use properly, safety devices and protective equipment.
  • Report to the immediate supervisor any situation which may be unsafe and which you cannot correct.
  • Report any accident or injury, or any serious “near miss.”
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