5. Health and safety

Employers must have regard to their employees’ health and safety, and employees have a corresponding duty to co-operate with their employer’s efforts to keep them safe. This can be through consultation with elected safety representatives from the trade union (if there is one at the site), or, where there is no trade union, through a consultation forum with employees.

Employers need to be aware that they will be vicariously liable for accidents caused by employees acting in the course of their employment, and that they owe a duty of care both to employees and to other visitors to the premises, for which they should have insurance. There are also numerous statutory obligations on employers relating to safety in the workplace.

All employers should have a written health and safety policy, give health and safety representatives both facilities and time off for training and ensure there is a system for recording accidents and injuries at work.