What Responsibilities does an Employer have in Relation to Risk Assessment?
Health and safety in the workplace is a legal requirement and it is the responsibility of an employer to fulfil this legal requirement appropriately. It is the employer and the management team's over-riding responsibility to ensure that health and safety is maintained through conducting thorough risk assessments of the workplace. However, the employees, work associates and visitors who enter into a workplace also have a responsibility to uphold the risk assessment and ensure their conduct is appropriate. If risk assessments are not being conducted by the employer properly nor is the employer fulfilling their health and safety responsibilities, they must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
What is an employer's responsibility for risk assessments?
It is an employer's responsibility to maintain health and safety. A risk assessment is the most common way to uphold health and safety requirements. Risk assessments do not have to be considered as daunting or as hassle, as they simply are not. The beneficial outcomes from risk assessments will make an employer's job a lot easier in the long term, as it will allow the employer to avoid injuries and incidents in the workplace.
To ensure that the management team and employees are all collectively committed to health and safety compliance, the employer should ensure that the risk assessment is communicated to all individuals within the organisation. To do this, employers can offer information about the conduct of risk assessments to everyone involved in the organisation.
Moreover, employers can offer training on risk assessments. Training will allow individuals to see and understand each step of a risk assessment which is conducted in their organisation. This will equally inform every individual of the risks which do exist within their organisation, but in-turn assure them that these risks are being protected by control measures for the safety of each individual involved.
Employers can conduct consultation sessions to enhance health and safety standards in their organisation:
Consultation sessions with employees will allow employers to create a collective effort for the maintenance of health and safety. Employers must consult employees and ask for their feedback, whether it is an additional risk which an employee has identified, or whether it is regarding a control measure which in practice doesn't appropriately protect individuals from the risk.
These consultation sessions will provide an effective form of communication between employees and employers. To make these sessions effective, employees can delegate the safety role to a particular employee in order to represent the views of all employees and work associates involved.
Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations (HSIER):
It is another responsibility of the employer to ensure that each employee is aware of and has access to the Health and Safety Information for Employees Regulations (HSIER). This will effectively state to employees what their rights are regarding health and safety, and therefore can hold their employers accountable if the employer is not providing sufficient risk assessments or health and safety standards.
A risk assessment is the most noticeable form of compliance with health and safety regulations. If an employer is found not conducting a risk assessment or is doing so but inefficiently, it is a real cause for concern. At this stage, employees must report the employer for lack of health and safety enforcement to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Employers have a lot of responsibility in order to maintain health and safety standards, through means such as risk assessments. However, these responsibilities are all worthwhile as it will protect the employer and employees from more detrimental effects in the long term.