What are your health and safety rights as an Employee?
Between 2021 and 2022, 1.8 million people suffered from a work-related illness and 565,000 sustained an injury at work. While we all hope to avoid being a part of these statistics, it is important for you to understand your rights as an employee at work and what to do if you do get hurt.
Employee health and safety Rights
The right for you to work in a safe and healthy environment as an employee is set by the law and generally cannot be changed by your employer. Some of the key rights are:
- To be provided with any personal protective equipment (PPE) free of charge
- To have any risks to your health and safety controlled as far as possible
- To be able to leave your work area if you have any reasonable safety concerns without being disciplined
- To have rest breaks during the day and time off during the working week
Alongside this, employers should supply appropriate training and information on relevant issues should be displayed in the workplace.
Employee health and safety Responsibilities
While employers have legal responsibilities to ensure a safe and healthy workplace, as an employee, you also have responsibilities to not put yourself at risk. Some of these include:
- Take reasonable care of your own health and safety
- Avoid wearing loose clothing or jewellery when operating machinery
- Take reasonable care to not put other people at risk during the course of your work
- Report any injuries or illnesses you suffer due to your work
What to do if you are injured at work
If you are injured at work it is important to ensure that your employer takes responsibility. You should be sure to record any accident that does occur as it will be useful if you need to claim compensation or benefits such as Statutory Sick Pay. If you need to see a doctor, it is best to make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible. Your GP will be able to record the details of your accident and treat your injury.
If you suffer from a severe injury at work, you may need to seek compensation which can help you during your recovery. For example, if you receive a head injury while at work, brain injury solicitors may be able to help you make a claim. The compensation you may receive can help you to speed up your recovery process and reduce the long-term impact of your injury as you will be able to pay for expert therapies and care.
You may also look to use the money to cover the cost of any house renovations that could be required to make your life easier after the injury and it could help loved ones adjust to any physical or emotional effects of your injury.