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- Employment Case Law – each month we review a number of interesting employment law cases and consider their implications for organisations. This month we look at the key considerations for issuing fixed term contracts. Read more >>>
- Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) Decisions – each month we look at and review the decisions from the WRC. This provides a valuable insight into the types of discrimination cases before the WRC and the decisions that are issued. Read more >>>
- What to Keep an Eye Out For – what is new, changing, potentially changing or what you may have missed. Read more >>>
Employee’s health & safety obligations within the workplace
There are many obligations for Employees with regard to their own safety and that of others, as set out in Section 13 of the 2005 Act, for example:
13.—(1) An employee shall, while at work—
(a) comply with the relevant statutory provisions, as appropriate, and take reasonable care to protect his or her safety, health and welfare and the safety, health and welfare of any other person who may be affected by the employee's acts or omissions at work,
What should Employee’s do?
Talk to their Employer:
An Employee should discuss any concerns they might have in relation to safety, health and welfare. If an Employee has never seen it, they should ask their Employer for a copy of the company safety statement. A company safety statement is the basis for the management of safety and health in the workplace and sets out an action programme for safeguarding Employees at work.
Employee’s should be continuously on the lookout for anything that could lead to an accident. They should be aware of the behaviour of their colleagues too. An accident caused by a co-worker could easily impact on others so if someone is behaving recklessly, an Employee should bring it to the attention of their Employer.
Don’t take risks:
If an Employee feels that something is unsafe, then they should stand back and think about the best way to deal with it. If they can’t deal with it, they should tell their Employer. Workplace accidents are often the result of human behaviour, i.e. cutting corners, rushing a job, taking chances; so Employee’s should think about the consequences of a bad accident and make sure they do everything they can to avoid it.
Employee’s should not make the mistake of thinking that the responsibility for worker safety, health and welfare rests solely with their Employer. Under the law, Employers certainly have a wide range of duties, but so do Employees, including those that have part-time or temporary roles, regardless of any employment or contractual arrangement they may have.
All Employees must:
- Comply with relevant laws and protect their own safety and health, as well as the safety and health of anyone who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work.
- Ensure that they are not under the influence of any intoxicant to the extent that they could be a danger to themselves or others while at work.
- Cooperate with their Employer with regard to safety, health and welfare at work.
- Not engage in any improper conduct that could endanger their own safety or health or that of anyone else.
- Participate in safety and health training offered by their Employer.
- Make proper use of all machinery, tools, substances, etc. and of all Personal Protective Equipment provided for use at work.
- Report any defects in the place of work, equipment, etc. which might endanger safety and health.