Outline the main health and safety responsibilities of: self, the employer or manager, others in the work setting

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

We all have responsibilities towards good health and safety practice in the workplace, so it is important to understand not only what your own responsibilities are but the responsibilities of others.

Health and safety responsibilities of yourself

  • Take reasonable care of yourself and others (do not put yourself or others at risk)
  • Adhere to agreed ways of working, policies and procedures
  • Remove hazards or risks in the workplace
  • Report any hazards or risks that you cannot resolve yourself to your manager

Health and safety responsibilities of your manager/employer

  • Provide a safe place to work
  • Assess and reduce/eliminate any risks in the workplace
  • Put necessary policies and procedures in place to ensure safety
  • Provide necessary training
  • Provide adequate work equipment

Health and safety responsibilities of others in the workplace

  • Take reasonable care of yourself and others (do not put yourself or others at risk)
  • Report hazards and risks

As noted, one of the duties of employees is to ensure that they follow organisational policies and procedures or agreed ways of working. These are provided by the employer to ensure that employees work within legal and regulatory frameworks, whilst maintaining best practice.

As well as a general health and safety policy, many organisations will also have additional policies and procedures relating to other health and safety tasks, such as medication administration, using and storing cleaning products and fire safety. There may also be procedures for using and maintaining specialist equipment, such as hoists or wheelchairs. It is important that employees read these documents thoroughly and follow procedures accurately to ensure that they are complying with their legal duties. If an accident occurs due to an employee not following protocols correctly, it could result in disciplinary or legal action being taken against them.

For those in senior or management positions, it is important to support others’ understanding of health and safety policies, procedures and practices. This can help to mitigate risk and support the personal development of co-workers. Support can be provided by being approachable to answer questions that less experienced employees may have or challenging any poor practice that is observed. Often, discussions about the reasons why an action is performed in a particular way can help others to understand the reasons why they must adhere to policies and procedures and will inevitably lead to an improvement in their practice.