Under the Health and Safety at Work Act (Section 7) employees have two main duties -
- to take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and others who may be affected by their acts and omissions
- To co-operate with the employer and others to enable them to fulfil their legal obligations
Also, under the Health and Safety at Work Act (Section 8)
- No person may misuse or interfere with safety provisions. (Known as the “No Horseplay section)
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) publish a poster on what your rights and duties are which should be prominently displayed at your workplace.
Rights and duties
It is a legal duty that your employer must display this. For details, go to www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/lawposter.htm
In general, your role is to help to make sure that you and your fellow workers leave work every day in a safe and healthy condition – not in an ambulance, or in a heavily-stressed condition, or with the increased risk of contracting a work-related disease or condition.
The best way to do this is if you and fellow workers elect a safety rep, whose role is to get the employer to fulfil their legal obligations to make that happen - the employer has the responsibility and duty for all of that.
“The achievement of good health & safety standards at work is and should be a basic human right for workers and makes good economic sense for the organisation you work for.” (International Labour Organisation).
TUC (Trades Union Congress):
ww.tuc.org.uk for info on TU issues, including safety
www.hazards.org for info on work hazards, from a rights perspective
ww.worksmart.org.uk for help for working people, including which trade union to join
ww.unionlearn.org.uk for trade union training, including safety