Employee’s Health and Safety Responsibilities.

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According to research, employees are more productive in environments that prioritise health and safety. Decreased disruption resulting from illness and incidents contributes to cost savings for an organisation by minimising downtime. In certain countries, health and safety legislation is considered criminal law, and compliance with it is mandatory. Employee’s Health and Safety Responsibilities play a critical role in this context, as each individual is tasked with adhering to established safety protocols and contributing to a safer workplace.

Neglecting Occupational Health and Safety and the rights and responsibilities of workers can result in severe and wide-ranging repercussions for employers and employees alike. Some potential repercussions consist of workplace accidents and injuries; health issues; legal consequences; decreased employee morale; and regulatory compliance issues to name a few.

Absolute Health Services is dedicated to helping our clients prevent these repercussions through the provision of accredited Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) compliance training. Our instructors draw from their real-life experiences as former qualified paramedics and firefighters, bringing their expertise to all delegates who participate in the training sessions.

rights and responsibilities of workers

Defining Employee Health and Safety Responsibilities

Many regions and countries have introduced laws and regulations that are designed to safeguard the health and safety of a company’s employees and are the duties of an employer in a contract of employment. A notable illustration can be found in the South African Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act 85 of 1993, which lays out fundamental principles and obligations.

The principal objective of the Occupational Health and Safety Act is to oversee and govern the health and safety of employees within the work environment. 

  • Risk assessments: One of the duties of an employer is to conduct regular risk assessments in order to identify and mitigate potential hazards.
  • Training and Information: It is an employer’s responsibility to provide employees with sufficient training and information relating to safety procedures and potential hazards in the workplace.
  • Emergency Preparedness: This would encompass elements such as first aid kits and evacuation strategies.
  • Protective Equipment: Some workplaces require the employer to provide and train employees on the appropriate utilisation of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Incident Reporting: Most workplace incidents, accidents, and near misses must be reported and investigated.

The responsibility for ensuring a secure workplace is mutually held by employers and employees. Both entities are essential in establishing and maintaining a professional setting that places a premium on Health and Safety. Listed below is a summary of an employee’s responsibilities: 

  • Adherence to safety procedures – During work activities, duties of employees include adhering to the established safety procedures, protocols, and guidelines provided by the employer.
  • Use of protective equipment – Utilise personal protective equipment (PPE) in accordance with the specifications of particular duties or work environments.
  • Report hazards and Incidents – Irrespective conditions, hazards, or incidents should be promptly reported to supervisors or the appropriate personnel.
  • Participation in training – Engage proactively in safety training sessions and enquire for clarification regarding any matters pertaining to safety.
  • Emergency response – Individuals should acquaint themselves and comply with emergency response protocols, such as evacuation schedules and initial aid strategies.
  • Maintain a clean and safe work environment – Assist in the maintenance of a tidy and hygienic work environment in order to reduce potential dangers.
  • Communication – Engage in transparent communication with supervisors and colleagues regarding safety concerns and improvement suggestions.
  • Compliance with policies – Observe policies and regulations established to promote health and safety in the workplace.
duties of employees

Benefits of Understanding Your Employee Rights and Responsibilities:

Understanding and fulfilling the duties of employees in health and safety can bring about several personal benefits for employees, namely:

  • Personal well-being
  • Job security 
  • Reduced risk and Injury
  • Peace of mind
  • Professional development

Embracing and prioritising health and safety in the workplace yields numerous organisational benefits. These advantages contribute to the overall success, sustainability, and positive image of the organisation. Here are some key organisational benefits:

  • Reduced costs
  • Increased productivity
  • Compliance and legal protection
  • Positive reputation
  • Improved organisational culture 
Employee's Health and Safety Responsibilities

Absolute Health Services Resources and Solutions:

Absolute Health Services have a national footprint across South Africa with premises in Fourways (JHB), Durban and Cape Town which makes them the ideal service provider to assist with all H&S related matters. 

We offer H&S related training, equipment and OHS compliance assessments as well as assist clients in setting up a health and safety management system in order for them to improve on their current health and safety compliance ratings.

We have established a successful business structured around four core principals: being professional and client focused, and providing a high quality, cost-effective service offering. Our mission is to be a world-class health and safety training provider, through the provision of quality health and safety courses and management services.

Occupational health and safety is not just a legal requirement as per the Constitution of South Africa and the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993, but also a moral obligation. Every employee should take ownership of their health and safety by participating in training offered by their company or seeking more information from a reputable training provider such as Absolute Health Services. 

Free Health and Safety Workplace Guide

Our comprehensive Health and Safety Guide is designed to simplify the process of implementing effective workplace safety practices. It provides clear and practical guidance to help employers, including HR and HSE managers, achieve compliance with regulations and create a safe working environment for their employees.