Yes, it is definitely your employer’s responsibility to provide a safe working environment at all times. There are variables that can influence the risk, including the type of job that you agree to do for them. They should always have equipment available to make the job safer and easier for everyone they hire. Their training program should include all the details you need to make good decisions and be aware of the potential risks.
Never assume they are doing what they should. Question anything that seems out of line. If you feel there is a risk to you or someone else, it has to be addressed. Don’t wait until someone gets hurt to make a statement about it. Open communication is essential, and you should present your concerns to your supervisor as soon as they emerge.
Perhaps you thought of a better way to accomplish tasks that also lower the risk involved. Don’t hesitate to bring that suggestion to their attention. They may have done it the other way for a long time, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. Information from the actual employees performing those tasks is valuable to the safety of everyone.
Take a Leadership Role for Safety
Going to work is an opportunity to learn, make money, and feel a sense of worth. Don’t get too comfortable with those tasks though that you ignore the need for safety. Strive to take a leadership role. Volunteer to be part of a committee that takes on the challenges and finds solutions to safety concerns within that organisation.
Protect yourself and others at all times. Take a stand against anything that puts someone at risk. Don’t do it because you don’t want to create waves. You have a right to stand your ground and refuse to take part in any tasks at a place of employment that compromise your safety or the safety of someone else.
Listen to your gut instincts about it. You may struggle to put your finger on what isn’t right, but you can’t stop that nagging feeling. You don’t have concrete evidence there is a problem but you are concerned there may be. It is always best to err on the side of caution and allow the situation to be fully evaluated and reviewed by those in a position to do so. The life you save may be your own!
Most employers are receptive when an employee brings a potential safety issue to the table. They want to know about the situation and search for ways to resolve it before anyone gets hurt. Sadly, that isn’t always the outcome and it should upset you. Don’t give up because your supervisor isn’t taking it seriously or the owner wants to make money.
There are resources you can count on outside of the organisation when your concerns are being ignored. There are laws in place to protect your rights to work in a safe work environment. They will investigate the situation. They will get to the bottom of the situation and hold employers accountable if necessary if safety isn’t a priority at that business.