We all need some type of tool to do our jobs the right way, and it is up to our employers to provide the proper tools to get the job done right. Besides providing the tools needed to do the job, the employer is responsible for ensuring tools of all kinds are well maintained. Maintaining equipment and replacing it once it starts to show a sign of wear is also the responsibility of the employer.
What Is Equipment?
Equipment can be anything an employee uses during the course of employment, in order to get the job done. Office workers use equipment like computers and printers, chairs and desks. Manufacturing employees use all kinds of robotics, computers, and machinery specific to the task of manufacturing a certain product or group of products. Cooks and chefs, and other kitchen personnel, use stoves and grills, as well as sharp knives and slicers, dishwashers, and ovens, and heavy pots and pans.
Construction workers use all kinds of heavy equipment and power tools. Police and military personnel use weapons, vehicles, and computer systems. Basically, any kind of tool, apparatus, processing machinery, appliance, or vehicle, used within the course of employment, is a kind of equipment.
Why Are Employers Responsible?
Employers are required by law to maintain a safe workplace. Understandably, safety measures differ from place to place – in any case, a reasonable effort must be made to prevent workplace injury due to faulty equipment. If you are an employer, you must protect your workers (as well as your business) by ensuring everything is in working order. If you are an employee, and you spot faulty equipment, take it out of service before a problem happens, and notify your employer. By doing so, you protect yourself from injury, and you place the employer on notice so that he or she knows that action needs to be taken.
How to Prevent Workplace Injury Due to Faulty Equipment
Employers of all kinds need to have a plan in place for maintaining worker safety and preventing accidents that might happen if equipment malfunctions. Remember, preventing an accident can represent a financial investment. Paying now can prevent costly problems later!
Plans for preventing injury due to malfunctioning equipment don’t have to be elaborate, but they do need to be comprehensive, and specific tasks need to be delegated to employees who utilise or maintain the equipment. While it would be ridiculous to ask an employer to personally inspect and maintain every piece of equipment, it is not too much to ask, to have protocols in place for inspection, maintenance, and replacement on a regular basis.
Employers need to take inventory of every piece of equipment in the workplace. Every computer and office chair, every printer, every nut and bolt of every piece of machinery, and every single thing conceivable, needs to be on a regular inspection and maintenance schedule. Cars and trucks used for work purposes, by employees or executives; need to be properly maintained according to manufacturer and governmental specifications.
In addition, every employee at every level should be made aware that reporting a safety issue with a piece of equipment is an absolute necessity. Managers and supervisors must be held accountable for ensuring inspections and maintenance take place regularly, and anything that shows signs of wear should be taken out of service and replaced immediately.
These precautions can prevent employee injury due to faulty equipment. If you are an employee who has been injured by faulty equipment, be sure to protect your rights by contacting a solicitor. Employers are responsible for maintaining a safe work environment.