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It’s your obligation to ensure the physical and mental safety of everyone associated with your business. This responsibility extends to people in your building, including contractors, clients, volunteers and members of the public.
Although it's a legal requirement, focusing on the health and wellbeing of your workers has clear benefits for your business as well.
Employees’ will feel more valued and loyal to your organisation. They'll also have more confidence to raise concerns about other unsafe practices in the workplace. All of which increases morale and productivity.
In this article, we explore some examples of duty of care as well as the repercussions if you’re found to be in breach of said duty.
Our previous post touched on the meaning of duty of care as well as your roles and responsibilities.
You’re likely to be found in breach of your duty if you’ve failed to take reasonable steps to ensure your employee’s health, safety and wellbeing.
Reasonable steps should always begin with a conversation with the worker concerned. Offering services like counselling for anxiety or work-related stress to staff members make it less likely for you to fail in your duty to care to your employees.
Being in breach of your duty could have detrimental effects on your business and workforce. The business suffers from the costs associated with claims for constructive dismissal or if an employee quits because of failure to make reasonable adjustments.
A breach by either you or your worker may result in a civil case or even criminal prosecution by the HSE. In order to make a negligence of duty of care claim, for example, staff members will have to prove how and why you’ve been in breach of your duty.
If, for instance, they trip because of trailing cables, they’ll need to show you breached your duty of care by not posting warning signs or clearing passageways.
While a majority of the duties of care are with you, it’s worth noting that employees also have responsibilities for their own health & safety, as well as other people at work.
For example, by law, they’re allowed to refuse any unsafe work undertaking without fear of disciplinary action.
If you’d like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on 0844 892 2493.
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