The past year has seen many of us working remotely in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus and Covid-19. This has proven extremely effective and has helped to save many lives and reduce the burden being placed on healthcare services. But with the vaccine being rolled out across the world, many of us are turning our minds towards a return to normal life.
Sure, we may not have set dates to put in our diaries yet. But many workplaces will likely be requesting that staff return to the office in the not too distant future. Of course, with a return to the office comes a return of responsibility on your employer’s part. They will need to make sure that your physical and mental health and wellbeing are protected at all times while you work for them. Here are some areas that they should be covering.
Protecting Your Physical Health
If you’re employed, it’s your employer’s responsibility and duty to ensure that your workplace is safe and that you are only being asked to complete tasks that you have been fully trained to complete. Risk assessments should have been carried out into anything that you do – even things that don’t seem all too dangerous in the first place. It’s also their responsibility to ensure that the workplace is compliant with a whole host of health and safety legislation that has been put in place to protect you and your physical wellbeing. Some areas that should be covered include:
- Permanent signs – permanent risks, such as low ceilings or unexpected steps, should be highlighted with permanent warning signs nearby to them.
- Temporary signs – temporary issues, such as a wet floor, should be highlighted with specialist warning signs.
- PPE – your employer should provide you with all necessary personal protective equipment (or “PPE”) required to carry out your role.
- Fire exits, signs, extinguishers, etc – every workplace should have a fire safety protocol in place. There should be sufficient fire exits, fire exit signs, a range of fire extinguishers and a protocol in place so that everyone knows what to do in case of a fire.
If you notice that any health and safety guidelines or rules are being broken, it’s important to point the issue out to the business’ HR department. Chances are, the problem simply hasn’t been noticed and will be rectified immediately. For example, if you notice a broken paving stone posing a trip hazard, they could quickly call in a professional Commercial Paving Contractor.
Protecting Your Mental Health
Your mental health is important too. So, if there are any issues at work posing a threat to your mental health, be sure to bring them up with your manager and/or HR department. Remember that you should never be subjected to workplace prejudice, pressure or an excessive workload.
These are just a few different ways to protect yourself within your professional environment. Make sure that you are fully aware of your rights and ensure that they are always upheld!
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