Health and Safety for all Employees Part One: Responsibilities

Employees have many rights, but those rights have corresponding responsibilities.

What Are Your Responsibilities?

Just as we have rights, every employee has responsibilities, to themselves, their co-workers, employers, and the clients they serve. Failing to appreciate or act on these responsibilities can put everyone at of injury or worse.

5 responsibilities that every employee should be aware of.

1. Read the rules:

We cannot ignore rules and regulations that have either been posted (Which should be the case) or given to us at orientation. Ignorance of the facts may be an excuse, but ignorance of the rules is not.

2. Professional standards

It certainly doesn't affect every employee, but sometimes our professional standards will surpass those of non-professionals or what your employer has adopted themselves. Failure to comply to those standards will lead to punishment and sometimes expulsion.

3. Reporting a hazardous situation

Sweeping a problem under the carpet isn't acceptable. As employees, our duty is to inform the decision makers so hazardous situations can be dealt with.  This also applies if your superior asks you to keep it secret.

4. Report Job injuries

It doesn't matter if you can handle the pain, if you or one of your co-workers is injured or falls ill because of something on the job, then you need to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else and those injured have to be given the best chance of healing properly.

5. Use proper protective equipment

Hardhats and steel toed boots work well for construction sites because they are designed to. It's important that you use equipment properly, latching all doors, wearing proper clothing, even when you want that perfect tan, and putting on the hearing protection, even if it messes with your hair. 

There is no hazardous situation that is safe for any stakeholder just for PR or stock price. Of course we need to use discretion and deal with situations so we don't cause panic, but it does have to be rectified. Knowing your responsibilities is just as important as knowing your rights.