According to ILO OSH Convention C155, employers have various responsibilities. The responsibilities shall be ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’
means that the degree of risk must be balanced against the time, cost, effort and degree of difficulty necessary to combat it.
Convention C155 is backed up by ILO R164, 1981, which gives detailed information of employer responsibilities defined in Article of 16 of C155.
Regardless of any legal background for protecting employees from harm, the general duty placed on the employer is to “….ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees”.
The general duty includes:
- the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are safe and without risks to health;
- arrangements for ensuring the safety and absence of risks to health from the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances;
- the provision of information, instruction, training and supervision sufficient to ensure the health and safety at work of his employees;
- Workplace is maintained in a safe condition without risk to health, including the means of access and egress and
- provision and maintenance of the working environment for his employees which is safe and without risk to health and adequate as regards the provision of and arrangements for their welfare facilities.
In addition, the employer is responsible is for developing a health and safety policy, this policy must demonstrate the statement of intent, the organisation (roles and responsibilities), general and specific arrangements to implement the policy.
The employer is also held responsible for carrying out risk assessments in order to meet the specific responsibilities set out in arrangements.
Employee or Workers Responsibilities and Rights
ILO convention C155, 1981, sets out the responsibilities of the workers to safeguard themselves and others from harm. Employees must cooperate with their employer to meet their health and safety obligations place upon the employer.
ILO R164 sets that the employee should:
- Take reasonable care for their own safety and that of other people who might be affected by business undertakings.
- Comply with procedures and instructions provided to take care of themselves and others.
- Use of safety devices and Personal Protective equipment correctly and not to misuse it.
- Report any situation to the supervisor or employer which they believe, could present imminent danger which they cannot themselves correct.
- Report any accident or occupational ill health which arises as part of the employment.
ILO Convention C155 insists that workers must be provided with certain rights to involve them in workplace health and safety, article 19 to 21 of Convention C155 provides the following rights to the workers.
- Workers must be given with suitable training regarding occupational health and safety.
- Workers must be provided with adequate information on actions taken by the employer to establish occupational health and safety.
- Employers must make arrangements to the workers and their representatives so that can co-operate and consult with employer on matters relating to occupational health and safety.
- The employee must be given with the right to leave the workplace where is there is significant risk may present to his life or health and shall not return to the place until the workplace becomes safe.
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