Health and safety is of the utmost importance in the UK and there is a range of legislation created with the aim of establishing health and safety culture within UK workplaces. Consequently, employers have the responsibility to ensure training programmes are conducted to raise awareness of the relevant health and safety requirements amongst all employees. This will eventually promote a health and safety culture as well as a harmonious workplace atmosphere.
Which UK health and safety legislation will allow employees to contribute to a health and safety culture?
The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974:
- The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 has created a structure for businesses in the UK to abide by health and safety requirements, and subsequently for employees to gain insight into what they should expect in their workplace. The employer has the responsibility to communicate the health and safety standards stated within the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 amongst employees. Employees subsequently should comply with these requirements to contribute to a health and safety culture.
- One of the notable requirements set out within this legislation is the conduct of risk assessments, which involves every individual within the workplace. Even if you are not one of the employees who is responsible for conducting the risk assessment, you must be aware of the hazards and risks which were identified, and subsequently be aware of the control measures which have been implemented to protect all individuals from these risks. Once all individuals are aware of the risk assessment which has been conducted, employees can make a concerted effort to ensure risks are protected and control measures are maintained.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSWR) 1999:
This piece of legislation is complementary to the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act, and similarly all employees should be aware of its following requirements to allow them to comply with these regulations in the workplace:
- The conduct of a risk assessment
- The creation of a well communicated prevention policy which all employees and work associates are well aware of
- Appropriate employees should be appointed with health and safety responsibilities, such as conducting risk assessments and ensuring control measures are in place
The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH) 2002:
Employees should be aware of these requirements, especially within workplaces such as chemical labs where hazardous substances are used within day-to-day work, and thus through complying with regulations they will contribute to a health and safety culture:
- Identifying hazardous substances in the workplace and the different forms in which they can present themselves.
- To take part in risk assessment, which essentially identifies the hazardous substances and then distinguishes what appropriate control measures must be used to protect individuals against these substances.
- For all employees to be well aware of emergency plans.
Employees must report incidents if they occur within the workplace in order to contribute to health and safety culture:
The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences (RIDDOR) requires employees and employers to report if an incident has occurred within the workplace, whether this is to with death, injury or disease.
This report can be issued to the relevant authority, such as the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE). If an incident is not reported, the HSE have the authority to investigate the relevant organisation and subsequently penalise them for a lack of compliance with health and safety culture.
Essentially, all individuals must comply with UK health and safety regulations in order to contribute to a health and safety culture within the workplace. Individuals can ensure their own personal safety is protected through being aware of all relevant regulations, and from abstaining from violence within the workplace. Training and knowledge of relevant legislation will enable a health and safety culture to be maintained in the workplace.