Safe work environment: easy to follow safety requirements and precautions in the workplace. While organizations and employers are responsible for creating a safe work environment, employees must notify their managers of emerging issues and ensure that safety at work is not compromised.
The responsibility still lies with the employer, who must follow a number of safe working practices to comply with strict UK regulations. Regulatory bodies such as the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) offer courses through certified providers, such as the IOSH Safe Driving Course, which can help managers ensure a safe environment for employees.
Employer obligations for safe working conditions
Organizations must first ensure that jobs are preserved and buildings are in good condition. This also applies to the equipment needed to carry out the work.
Buildings in various forms of disrepair can lead to numerous health and safety violations, as well as breaches of commercial tenancy obligations. If there are construction defects, the employer is responsible for taking the necessary safety measures to prevent danger to employees and others.
Safety measures may also depend on the type of work. For example, an automotive repair shop may need to cover the inspection pits when the vehicle is not in use, or a workplace dealing with wet processes may require adequate drainage facilities and systems.
Safety measures for mobility in the workplace
Security requirements for movement extend beyond a free environment. Lifts, floors, rails, scaffolding, ladders, stairs, ramps, doors, gates and all movement routes must be safe for workers.
For example, a construction site requires workers to be provided with proper safety equipment, railings, and scaffolding supports. Workers must also avoid unnecessary hazards, such as walking on shiny surfaces where there is a risk of falling.
Movement in halls, corridors or on the common floor also requires safety conditions, such as non-slip, good warning signs when cleaning or repairing.
Adequate lighting and lighting conditions
The right lighting and lighting conditions are essential and can be overlooked, but failure to provide them can lead to health problems and injuries for workers.
Any glare from natural or man-made fires is a health hazard and it is the employer’s responsibility to provide adequate protection against such glare. If an employee is experiencing major problems and there is no protection, they should report to their manager where and when.
Emergency lighting where necessary, good lighting for night workers, well-lit corridors and stairs, etc. – all this must be taken into account by employers.
Cleanliness in the workplace
Keeping the workplace clean is more than just hygiene, as safety requirements also cover hazardous materials, chemicals, hazardous equipment and cleanliness issues that are harmful to employees.
For example, waste can be harmful and toxic to employees, while also negatively affecting the workplace. Having maintenance or workers to clean up waste materials on a regular basis is a basic requirement for all workplaces.
In heavy industries, toxic materials, hazardous chemicals and other harmful emissions and materials must also be properly managed without harming the health and safety of workers.
Hygiene, wellness and various facilities
Maintaining cleanliness is also essential to a safe and healthy work environment for employees. Employers must provide clean washrooms and toilet facilities, hot, cold or hot water as required, as well as soap and other cleaning agents.
If workers are required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), the provision of decontamination facilities or disposal of non-reusable PPE is also a factor to consider.
Other social facilities such as lounges, rest and accommodation, private lockers, showers, emergency equipment and services, etc. may be specific to the work required. A job where employees regularly get dirty calls for shower rooms with detergents, while an office workplace only needs a cafeteria and common area.
Employee comfort and ideal working conditions
Employers must create ideal conditions for employees and make the workplace as comfortable as possible.
According to the Workplace Act, the ideal working temperature must be at least 16°C, and 13°C if employees have to perform physical work.