Employee responsibility

Tree Surgery and Employee Responsibilities in the Workplace

Toolbox Talk

3rd March 2021 | Info

Employers have a legal obligation to follow rules and regulations when operating a business, such as LOLER and PUWER, and you can read our guides for more information about these. However, employees have similar responsibilities to uphold during the workplace to ensure a safe working environment for all; all of which is imperative in the Arboriculture industry.

Employees have a specific set of responsibilities that they should adhere to and range from health and safety to co-operating with fellow employees. They are responsible for following instructions of their employers and for attending any relevant training that they deem fit.

Typically, employees are responsible for their own health and safety as well as others who may be affected by their work. This means that they should take all precautions necessary (within reason) to protect themselves, and others, from risks that may occur. This also includes not misusing equipment that has been provided for safety reasons.

For example, an employer must provide PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), such as safety helmets and safety goggles, but it is an employee’s individual responsibility to wear and use them actively in their working environment. Further to this, it would also be an employee’s responsibility to avoid wearing jewellery and loose clothing that could get caught in machinery. They would also be responsible for making sure that their hair is out of the way.

Additionally, employees are responsible for ensuring that equipment, materials, and all protective equipment are maintained in good condition. This is important as degradation in quality can cause accidents to happen.

Employees are also responsible for reporting any hazards or defects in equipment, protective equipment, or missing materials. For example, if an employee is a climber and they notice a fault with their climbing irons/spikes, then they should report this at the nearest opportunity to their superior. Forgetting to do so may cause severe injuries or even death.

Employees are also responsible for reporting any injuries, strains, illnesses, or anything that may affect the way that they work. In tree surgery, this is incredibly important as we actively work with dangerous pieces of equipment and at height. If employees fail to report any of these cases, then not only can they potentially bring injury or harm upon themselves; they may also endanger the people they work with.

If you operate a Tree Surgery business, it is of the utmost importance that your employees are made aware of their responsibilities when entering a term of employment with you, not only for their safety but also for any of your future clients and other employees. Many businesses choose to outline this in the employee’s contract.

Source:  https://www.atl.org.uk/advice-and-resources/health-and-safety/duties-employees

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