Employer’s Responsibilities To Employees

In this article, we will check the Employer’s responsibilities to employees and everything that employers must provide a safe and healthy work environment and whatever it takes to keep their employees safe.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires employers to comply with safety and health standards and regulations that are designed to make the workplace safe. Employers must provide their employees with a place of employment that is free from serious recognized hazards and comply with standards, rules, and regulations issued under the OSHA act. The act covers most private sector employers and their workers, in addition to some public sector employers and workers in the 50 states and certain territories and jurisdictions under federal authority. OSHA does not cover self-employed workers, immediate family members of farm employers who employ less than 11 workers, workplaces regulated by another federal agency, or workplaces in states operating their own OSHA-approved state plans covering state and local government workers. Before exploring the employer’s responsibilities, you must know the difference between responsibility and accountability.

Employer’s Responsibilities To Employees

Employers have duties under both criminal and civil law. The general duties of employers under the HSW Act relate to: 

  • the health, safety and welfare at work of employees and others whether part-time, casual, temporary or homeworkers, on work experience, government training schemes or on site as contractors – that is anyone working under their control or direction; 
  • the health and safety of anyone who visits or uses the workplace and anyone who is allowed to use the organization’s equipment; 
  • the health and safety of those affected by the work activity, for example neighbours, and the general public. 
Employer's Responsibilities To Employees

What employers must do 

Employers must protect the health and safety of employees and others who might be affected by their work activities. Health and safety is about sensible, proportionate actions that protect people – not unnecessary bureaucracy and paperwork. 

This 10-point list shows some of the key actions required by law that apply to nearly every organization about Employer’s Responsibilities To Employees.

  • Take out Employers ’ Liability Compulsory Insurance and display the certifi cate. 
  • Make sure the business has someone competent to help meet their health and safety duties. This does not have to be an external consultant. 
  • Decide how health and safety is going to be managed. This is the health and safety policy. 
  • Decide what could harm anyone involved in the business activities and what precautions should be taken. This is the risk assessment. 
  • Managers must act on the fi ndings of the risk assessment by putting sensible controls in place to prevent accidents and ill health and making sure they are followed. 
  • Provide basic welfare facilities, such as toilets, washing facilities and drinking water. 
  • Provide free health and safety training for workers. 
  • Consult workers on health and safety. 
  • Display the health and safety law poster or give workers a leafl et with the information. 
  • Report certain work-related accidents, diseases and dangerous occurrences. 

Failure to comply with these requirements can have serious consequences – for both organizations and individuals. Sanctions include fines, imprisonment, and disqualification.

Under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, an offense will be committed where failings by an organization’s senior management are a substantial element in any gross breach of the duty of care owed to the organization’s employees or members of the public that results in death. The maximum penalty is an unlimited fi ne and the court can additionally make a publicity order requiring the organization to publish details of its conviction and fine.

Under the HSW Act 1974, employers have a duty to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their employees, including homeworkers. Employers are required to do a risk assessment of the work activities carried out by homeworkers. It may be necessary for employers to visit the home of the worker to carry out a risk assessment, although homeworkers can also help in identifying the hazards for their employers themselves.

Visitors and the general public

Organizations have a duty to ensure the health and safety of the public while on their premises, even if the individuals concerned, like children, are not supposed to be there. Two cases reported in the Autumn of 2008 have highlighted how far this liability can extend.

Misunderstandings over who is responsible for monitoring and protecting contractors and sub-contractors – leading to the failure to carry out responsibilities – are often at the heart of high-profile health and safety cases. But situations such as these could be avoided with a clearer understanding of employers ’ and contractors ’ responsibilities

Visitors to a site whether authorized or not are often more at risk than employees because:

  • they are unfamiliar with the workplace processes, the hazards and associated risks they present;
  • they may not have the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE);
  • they will have a lack of knowledge of the site or premises layout;
  • walkways are often inadequate, unsigned or poorly lit;
  • they are not familiar with the emergency procedures or means of escape;
  • they may be particularly vulnerable if they suffer from a disability or are very young.

Many of these problems with visitors can be overcome by, for example:

  • visitors signing in and being provided with a site escort;
  • providing appropriate PPE and identity badges;
  • providing simple induction procedures with a short video and information on site rules, hazards and emergency procedures;
  • clear marking of walkways and areas where unauthorized people are not permitted.
Employer Responsibility Towards Night Working

Night working

Employers should ascertain whether they employ people who would be classified as night workers. If so, they should check:

  • how much working time night workers normally work;
  • if night workers work more than eight hours per day on average, whether the number of hours can be reduced and if any exceptions apply;
  • how to conduct a health assessment and how often health checks should be carried out;
  • that proper records of night workers are maintained, including details of health assessments;
  • that night workers are not involved in work which is particularly hazardous.

Temporary workers Directive adopted by EU Parliament

The European Parliament has adopted a Directive on temporary agency work which enables temporary workers to be treated equally, from day one, with those of the employer company.

However, following an agreement reached in May 2008 between the social partners in the UK, agency workers will get the same pay and conditions as permanent staff after being employed for 12 weeks. This is the final stage in the process and member states have a maximum of 3 years to transpose the Directive.

The agreement has been made between the Government, the CBI, and the TUC, and the following points have been decided upon:

  • After 12 weeks in a given job there will be entitlement to equal treatment.
  • Equal treatment will be defi ned to mean at least the basic working and employment conditions that would apply to the workers concerned if they had been recruited directly by that undertaking to occupy the same job. This will not cover occupational social security schemes.
  • The Government will consult regarding the implementation of the Directive, in particular how disputes will be resolved regarding the defi nition of equal treatment and how both sides of the industry can reach appropriate agreements on the treatment of agency workers.
  • The new arrangements will be reviewed at an appropriate point ‘ in the light of experience ’
  • The new arrangements will be reviewed at an appropriate point ‘ in the light of experience ’
About Shehzad Zafar

Hello, my name is Shehzad and I am an occupational health and safety trainer with over 15 years of experience. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working in the oil and gas as well as construction industries, where I have gained valuable insights and knowledge on safety regulations and practices. My passion for safety has led me to develop and deliver training programs that are tailored to meet the needs of each individual organization I work with. I strongly believe that safety should always be the top priority in any workplace, and I strive to instill this mindset in all the individuals I train.

Leave a Comment