Employers and managers must ensure they are competent, meaning they have the appropriate skills and training, and thorough in managing Health and Safety issues in the workplace, as detailed under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
It can be useful for employers to have a benchmark in how they should be managing their health and safety – the table below highlights the essentials of managing health and safety effectively, and what it looks like when you are not achieving this.
- Take care of your own health and safety and that of people who may be affected by what you do (or do not do);
- Co-operate with others on health and safety, and not interfere with, or misuse, anything provided for your health, safety or welfare;
- Follow the training you have received when using any work items your employer has given you.
Workers should ensure they follow the guidelines set out in the inductions that new starters must take. The inductions usually identify common workplace hazards risks, including but not limited to working at height, manual handling, and how to prevent accidents in these areas. Employees also have a responsibility to report any accidents they may have in the workplace, no matter how small as well as any worries they have about any inadequate Health and Safety provisions.
To provide your employees with a Health and Safety induction, take a look at our Health and Safety Site Induction (RoSPA Accredited) online training course!
Alcohol and Drug Misuse At Work
One-third of employers say that alcohol and drug misuse is a problem at work and 60 per cent experience problems in the workplace due to staff drinking. Although a sensitive issue, the potential cost to business means that this is a problem which needs to be addressed. As an employer, you must ensure the health, safety and welfare of your workers in the workplace, including drug and alcohol misuse (or abuse) amongst your employees. As a worker, you also have a duty to take reasonable care of yourself and others who could be affected by your actions while you are at work. In terms of legislation, the following applies:
- Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 – section 2 – places a duty on an employer to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees.
- Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 – places a duty on an employer to assess the risks to the health and safety of employees. This means an employer can be prosecuted if they knowingly allow an employee to continue working while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and their behaviour places the employee themselves or others at risk.
- Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 – makes it an offence for someone to knowingly permit the production, supply or use of controlled drugs on their premises except in specified circumstances (for example drugs prescribed by a doctor)
Because of these responsibilities, an alcohol or drugs policy should be used to ensure problems are dealt with effectively, consistently and early on in the process. By knowing this policy is in place and is recognised by managers, it ensures workers that their employers will help protect their workers and encourage sufferers to seek help.
For more information on drug and alcohol misuse in a personal and professional capacity, take a look at our Alcohol and Drug Awareness online training course. If you would like help from WA Management in formulating an Alcohol or Drugs Policy, or for any other Health and Safety concerns, get in touch here!
Benefits of Fulfilling Your Roles
- Achieving your duties as a manager of your company
- Protecting your workforce
- Protecting your company’s reputation and finances from breaches or fines
For employees, you will be:
- Improving your work performance by demonstrating you know what is required of you
- Protecting your health and safety by adhering to guidelines
- Complying with the law and your contract of work
Limited Time Online Training Discounts!
In order to gain a more in-depth view about employee/employer responsibilities, for the month of January only, you can get 10% OFF our ‘Code of Conduct’ and ‘Managing Health and Safety’ with the code ‘Roles20’ – these will help both employee and employer know their roles and responsibilities for ensuring good Health and Safety in the workplace.
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