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Every job has certain risks. But the vast majority can be managed if employers and staff work together to keep everyone safe and healthy at work.

By law, your employer must carry out a risk assessment of the workplace. That means that they need to work out what hazards there are and judge what level of risk they pose to workers’ health and safety. Then they have to figure out ways to minimise the risk of harm.

Workers also have a legal duty to take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of others who could be affected by their actions. They must also cooperate with their employer to make sure health and safety laws are followed.

If you’re worried about your health or safety at work, you have a right to raise your concerns and you mustn’t be punished or dismissed for doing this.

In a unionised workplace, you can approach your safety rep with any concerns. Otherwise, consider working with together with colleagues to negotiate solutions.

When workers act together, employers are more likely to pay attention, and to introduce new policies that make the workplace safer for everyone.

Are you a rep? You can find more practical advice on a range of workplace issues in our support for reps section

What are risk assessments and how are they used?
A risk assessment is carried out to determine what risks exist in the workplace and what measures are needed to combat them...

How often should a risk assessment take place?
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says risk should be assessed "every time there are new machines, substances and procedures, which could lead to new hazards."
What are the five steps to risk assessment?
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) there are five steps to risk assessments. Identify the hazards, decide who may be harmed and how, access the risks, make a record of the findings and continue to review.
What is the difference between a 'hazard' and a 'risk'?
A hazard is something that will cause harm, whereas a risk is the chance that any hazard will actually cause harm.
What are the main health and safety regulations?
The main health and safety regulations include those for Display Screen Equipment, Personal Protective Equipment, Manual Handling Operations, Reporting of Injuries Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences and more...
What is the Health and Safety at Work Act?
The  Health and Safety at Work Act  1974 (HASWA) lays down wide-ranging  duties  on employers. Employers must protect the 'health, safety and welfare' at work of all their  employees, as well as others on their premises, including temps,  casual workers, the  self-employed, clients, visitors and the general public.
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