September 2, 2022

Who Has Overall Responsibility for Health and Safety in a Company

Accidents and ill health at work cannot only be disturbing to the wellness and morale of the personnel but can also cause financial claims and damage to a business’s reputation. Too many workers getting injured due to workplace hazards can be a big problem for employers.

This requires them to have robust health and safety practices along with a safety awareness culture that upkeeps the legislation and reduces accidents and injuries.

This blog post will discuss the roles and duties of employers and employees in developing and maintaining a safe area of work for everyone.

Workplace Health and Safety 

There is no denying managing the safety and health of a worker in the workplace. Numerous accidents and injuries are reported every day at work. It is seen that, on average, 1.4 million people suffered work-related illnesses, accidents, and injuries, causing 555,000 fatal injuries in the UK alone.

There were 4,764 fatal work injuries reported in the USA, as per Bureau Labor Statistics (BLS). When talking about Australia, 87% of severe employee compensations were seen due to musculoskeletal disorders or injuries, according to Safe Work Australia.

This requires businesses to have systematic approaches and strategies to deal with workplace hazards and maintain a safe work area for employees.

Workplace safety and health are all about sensibly taking preventive measures to control the risks and prevent the safety, health, and wellness of employees, customers, or anyone in the vicinity.

Who is Responsible for Health & Safety Within the Organization?

No one person is liable to ensure safety at work; it is simply too big for a single individual to prevent everyone. Therefore, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) expects business owners, employers, contractors, staff members, and workers at all levels of work to share a mutual responsibility to ensure safety.

Let’s see the role and responsibilities of employers and employees.

Roles & Responsibilities of Employers

The Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) 1974 requires employers and business owners to prevent the workers, staff, or common public around their work area from any kind of potential health risk caused by their work operations.

For this very purpose, employers must undertake the following responsibilities:

  • Conduct Workplace Risk Assessments 

Regular workplace inspections are a crucial component in identifying any kind of health hazard or risk. Employers need to ensure that they undertake risk assessments every six months or annually and audit every detail and work process to analyze their working conditions. These inspections are also helpful in determining what actions and tasks need more attention.

  • Consult Workforce About Safety & Health

Communication is one thing, but effectively communicating and consulting safety concerns with the employees is beneficial for a business. Employers must consult the issues with their staff and take regular feedback to improve.

  • Provide Safe Tools & Equipment for Work 

The safety legislation also puts a legal responsibility on employers to provide vital safety equipment to the personnel to undertake the work safely.

  • Provide Sufficient Training & Guidance 

When it comes to training and guidance, it is also necessary under the law that employers properly train and guide their workers.

There are numerous training courses they can offer at work like industrial health and safety, construction risk assessment, IOSH working safely course, asbestos awareness training, sharps training, COSHH training, lone worker training, confined space training, working at height training, fire safety training, mental health training, and more.

Roles & Duties of Employees 

Employees, on the other hand, have the following duties as well:

  • Follow Health & Safety Training in their Daily Tasks

The employees must follow the safety training provided by their employers so that they understand safe working practices at work and the importance of maintaining a safe workplace to live and work.

  • Implement Safety Policies

The law requires employees to implement safety precautions within their work environment as mentioned in their safety and health policies. Implementing the safety policies at work will provide them with specific information on health hazards and risks and what control measures can minimize the problem.

  • Report Safety Concerns & Health Risks 

Last but not least, employees are also legally obliged to report any health hazard and unsafe behavior seen or encountered at work to the upper management so that immediate action can be taken to resolve the problem.

Accidents and preventable injuries are better than those that require a lot of costs, time, and effort to make the work processes in running order.


This piece of content thoroughly explains the roles and responsibilities of employers and their staff members to create a safe workplace. Ensuring safety is a combined effort of employers, employees, workers, and anyone part of the work. Therefore, the duty falls on everyone to play their part in managing it.

About the author 

Peter Hatch

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