Ensuring Workplace Health & Safety: Law Protects Employees & Minimizes Risk

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1861 Words
Date:  2023-01-29


Concerning the health and safety at work, the provision of the law seeks to secure the safety, health, and welfare of all the employees at work (Griffith and Howarth, 2014, pp. 136-284). It protects every individual against risks that may arise in connection or away from the activities of works (Griffith and Howarth, 2014, pp. 136-284). And to ensure control on keeping and use of explosives and dangerous substances, while averting the possession and acquisition of the hazardous substances. The law provides for an improved standard of health, safety, and welfare of the workers. The Act stipulates that any risk which results from the activities of the workers is preserved as attributable to the behaviour, the motive of the action and the condition of the premise used.

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The Act stipulates that every employer is to ensure and to the standard the health, safety, and the welfare of workers. Employers are to ensure the provision of safety and maintenance of the plant, thereby, averting risks to the health of workers (Griffith and Howarth, 2014, pp. 136-284). The employer also provides training and supervision to the workers in conformity to the standards of health and safety needs. Besides that, the Act requires employees to take proper care for their health and safety, and any person affected by their activities at work (Boyle, 2015, pp. 240-267). The employees should co-operate with the employers on the imposed policies to ensure proper services delivery. Consequently, the breach of any duty imposed by the Act shall be actionable except where the regulation provides otherwise.

The Act mandates the Health and Safety Commission to help and encourage those concerned with issues relevant to the purpose of the Act to further such purpose (Griffith and Howarth, 2014, pp. 136-284). The executive exercises on behalf of the commission the functions of the commission as may be directed by the commission. More imperatively, the enforcement of the law on health, safety, and wellbeing of workers is a role granted to both Health Safety Commission and the Health Safety Executive. The commission may make payments to workers as may be determined by the secretary of state. When a person ceases to be a member before the expiry of the term, the commission makes payment as determined by the secretary of state. The limitation of the Act is that, for any person committing offense or failing to comply with the requirements of the law, the accuser provides evidence that the Act was not practicable.

Implications of Drawing up Employment Contracts

Employers have the obligation of being the information controller and data processor of the worker's data. Generally; the employer has to ensure secure processing of the employee's data for legitimate reasons (Boyle, 2015, pp. 240-267). More importantly, employers should know that the regulation gives more compliance burden and a significant increase in risks if the organisation fails to comply with the regulatory Act. The employment contract incorporates the Health and Safety Authority, which is charged with a duty to enforce health and safety at work (Griffith and Howarth, 2014, pp. 136-284). It gives information to employees and employers on workplace health and safety. In case of drawing up a contract, employees have the right to be provided with written information on the principle terms applied. The right to be consulted for any change, thereby; employer seeks the consent of the employee. Finally, the employee has the right to either agree or disagree with the change prompting the employee to continue or resign from work.Decisions Based on Ethical Theories

Virtues Perspective

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 comprises of regulations that are vital in managing and safeguarding the health as well as ensuring that the safety is guaranteed at the workplace. The statutory provision of the HSW Act tasks the employees with the responsibility of taking reasonable care for themselves and other individuals within the precincts of the workplace who may be affected by their acts and omissions during work (Boyle, 2015, pp. 240-267). From the virtues standpoint, it is necessary that an individual reports any issue within the workplace that pose a danger to everyone at work. For instance, damaged cables for computer equipment and frayed carpets on stairways may be hazardous to workers, and the employee should be guided by virtue to seek the remedy by reporting the problem to relevant departments.

Duty-Based Perspective

The employees by duty are expected to appreciate the fact that they can be more productive when they are working in a safe environment, and they have an obligation to protect everyone at work as outlined in the HSW Act (Broad, 2014, pp. 143-160). Better still, employees should understand the fact that ethical issues are embedded in the law and therefore their actions while on duty should reflect their ethical foundation while addressing issues that pose health concerns to people at the workplace.

Consequentialist Viewpoint

The theory of consequentialism places judgment whether or not a particular thing is right based on the potential consequences. Undeniably, the damaged cables for computer equipment are a health hazard, and it is because of the likely consequences that the employee decided to report the issue to the manager. Consequentialism is often criticized because it is always difficult to foretell the outcome of a particular action in the future and perhaps that is the reason why the manager was reluctant to take serious action regarding the reported problems within the office environment which pose health and safety concerns of employees (Broad, 2014, pp. 143-160).


Considering the failure of the manager to effectively react to the reported concerns in the workplace, the employee take the following two possible decisions; firstly, the employee could write to the relevant persons that the manager had contacted, but nothing is done to seek further clarification on why they could not act on the issues of damaged cables and frayed carpets despite the health hazard they pose to people at work (Broad, 2014, pp. 143-160). Secondly, the employee could move directly to the concerned individuals and prevail upon them to address the problem posed by the damaged cables and frayed carpets without having to pass through the manager who seemingly has shown little concern on the two critical issues.

Molyneaux's Approach

The Molyneaux's approach can be utilised in understanding the key parties that are likely to be influenced by the decision. It is worth noting that the manager, the relevant parties who are charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the health and safety of workers and the workers will be affected by the decision made by the reporting employee (Degenaar, 1996, pp. 17-23). The relevant persons will realise the seriousness of the problem and act to forestall the likely consequences.

The fundamental principles of ethics that can be applied are the principle of respect for autonomy and the principle of beneficence. The former highlights that individuals have an obligation to respect the independence of other people and the decisions they are bound to make concerning their lives. Regarding the principle of beneficence, the individual is obligated to bring out the goodness in every decision they make (Degenaar, 1996, pp. 17-23). Notably, there is open conflict between the two as the obligation to respect the autonomy of decision-makers conflict the obligation to bring good out of the individual's actions.

Understandably, safety and health of workers should be given priority in the workplace and the management together with employees have the legal obligation as provided in the HSW Act to ensure that the safety of workers and other people within the workplace is guaranteed at all times.

It is instructive to note that there is an inherent conflict between the guardian and the commercial aspects of responsibilities. The guardian strand points to the fact the employees have the responsibility of ensuring that they safeguard the safety and health of other people in the workplace (Degenaar, 1996, pp. 17-23). However, this responsibility conflicts the commercial strand of responsibility where the actions which are regarded to be important in keeping the workers safe are costly for the entities to provide despite understanding the potential consequences of deserting such responsibilities.

The imaginative solution would explain to the management the health hazard that is posed by the damaged cables and frayed carpets and prevail upon the manager to make sure the relevant department is given the necessary and adequate resources that would help address the issue (Degenaar, 1996, pp. 17-23). Moreover, the workers would be made aware of the current health risk and urge them to ensure that they protect their own lives by taking precautionary measures before the relevant persons within the workplace completely address the issues.

Unfair Dismissal and Wrongful Dismissal

There is always a stark difference between unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal. The unfair dismissal refers to a situation where the employment contract is terminated, and the employer fails to highlight fairgrounds of doing so (Friedman, 2014, pp. 178-188). Also, the dismissal is claimed when the employer has sufficient reason for terminating the contract but wrongfully executes the dismissal procedure. Conversely, wrongful dismissal involves the termination of the employment contract without following the laid down process, and the claim is usually premised on the obligations of the employer as outlined in the employment contract.

Protection of Employee by "Whistleblowing" Provision

Corey White discovery of the inappropriate data practices at Eastern National Bank and decided to report the issue to the supervisor was as a result of strict adherence to the law and obligations which calls for the employee to raise issues that may be detrimental in the workplace. In light of this, Corey could have been protected by the "whistleblowing" provision in the UK under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA) (Webster, 2017, pp. 67-148). The provision could have protected Corey for blowing the whistle about the discrepancy of data within the bank by providing grounds that would allow him to claim unfair dismissal if the contract is ended as a result of the disclosure of data issues to the supervisor. Moreover, the provision could have protected Corey from experiencing problems related to the failure of the employee to offer promotion and protecting his data to avoid victimisation by management who may not be happy with his disclosures.

Right of Data Subject Under the Data Protection Act 1998

The data subjects have the right to access personal data, the rectification of data, and the right to data portability, among others as specified in the Act. The Ministry of Defense (MOD), which is the data controller in the UK, should ensure that they provide the data subject with proper access to personal data and other supplementary information (Webster, 2017, pp. 67-148). Also, the Act specifies that an individual as the right to prevail upon the MOD to change details about the personal information under their custody and ensure that they are accurate. Better still, the data subject has the right to copy and transfer their data without any hindrance in safely and prompt manner from any IT setting to the other.

Causes of Redundancy

Redundancy at work results when the employer dismisses the employee on reasons that do not directly relate to the acts of employees. Redundancy may be caused by a situation where the employer plans to stop carrying out the business or operating in that part...

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Ensuring Workplace Health & Safety: Law Protects Employees & Minimizes Risk. (2023, Jan 29). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/ensuring-workplace-health-safety-law-protects-employees-minimizes-risk

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